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Latest Vision News

May is Healthy Vision Month

May is Healthy Vision Month

What does that mean for you? It means that now is the time to schedule a comprehensive eye  exam. 

While these are one of the exams we may often let fall by the wayside, they are extremely important to maintain our eye health. Comprehensive eye exams serve several purposes. During these exams, pupils, the circular black area in the center of the eye where light enters, are widened with eye drops or viewed without dilation through a special camera. This allows your Eye Doctor to check for vision problems and eye diseases, verify what stage of diseases your eyes may be in, and helps determine if you need glasses, contacts or other treatments. 

Comprehensive eye exams are crucial for all ages, here’s why: 

Pediatric exams test for visual acuity, lazy eye, color vision, ocular health, and more. These are extremely important to test for the school years ahead. 

For older children and teenagers, myopia (nearsightedness) is one of the biggest concerns that comprehensive eye exams detect. Myopia affects the eye’s ability to see distant images clearly. It is important to identify and treat early with glasses or contacts as children and teens begin to learn in larger spaces, play sports, and drive. 

Adult exams are recommended at least every two years, or as recommended by your eye care specialist. Exams for adults are necessary to catch eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even lead to blindness. Some of these conditions are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. 

There are several other conditions that comprehensive eye exams can expose that may not be found without a visit to your optometrist. 

Outside of eye exams, here are 5 ways you can help protect your vision: 

  1. Healthy eating. You know this! Healthy eating helps every part of your body. For your eyes, make sure to add dark, leafy greens and seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids to your plate. A great excuse to treat yourself to sushi! We’re adding a spicy sake maki roll to our cart… for delivery.
  2. Protective eyewear. Whether you’re chopping wood for the bonfire pit, mowing the lawn, painting your bedroom walls, or riding your motorcycle around town, protective eyewear is key. Blue-light protection glasses should also be considered to protect your eyes from all the time spent in front of computer screens.
  3. Sunglasses. Much like protective eyewear, sunglasses help protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation delivered by sun. Not all sunglasses provide the same level of protection. Let us help you pick the best pair!
  4. Clean hands. Wash your hands before putting your contacts in and before taking your contacts out, simply to avoid infection.
  5. Stop smoking. Smoking is known to cause several diseases, but it can also lead to vision loss. It can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and more. Mark your calendar for your comprehensive eye exam and mark it as the day to stop smoking. 

Happy healthy vision month! Get your appointment in the books with us today. 

 

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Have you ever tried to look into a room by looking into the keyhole? You only see part of the room... right? Well, that is what it would be like for your eye doctor to look into your eye through an undilated pupil. They would only see a partial view of your retina, with the possibility of missing vital information about the health of your eyes.

That is why it is important to have your eyes dilated for your exam, whether through traditional eyedrops which will wear off in several hours, or through new technology that can take a panoramic digital picture of the inside of your eye without dilation. Either method will provide your eye care professional valuable insight into your ocular and systemic health. Here are the top 5 reasons to have your full retina evaluated through a dilated view:

  1. To have the health of your retina evaluated. The retina is like the film of the camera of your eye that processes the vision accurately. The central retina contains cones for your color and detail vision, and the peripheral outer retina contains rods for your night vision.
  2. To detect ocular and systemic diseases early. Ophthalmic diseases such as glaucoma, and macular degeneration need to be caught early and treated for optimum vision. Furthermore, the saying “the eyes are the window to the soul”, is true. Systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol can be detected sometimes before they show up in the rest of your body. Your eye care practitioner can coordinate care with your family physician to ensure optimal health.
  3. Dilation can help your doctor get an accurate glasses prescription, especially for children. In the pediatric population the eye muscle can contract extensively more than adults, so their muscles work harder, thus fatiguing the visual system. Dilated exams can ensure a more accurate glasses prescription.
  4. To give you peace of mind, and also provide a baseline for your eye doctor for future examinations. If you move or relocate with a new doctor, have your records transferred for maximum eye health benefits.
  5. Lastly.......A dilated exam could save your life! Numerous reports show that cancers such as lung, or breast cancer metasticize to the eye and can be detected in the retina during an eye exam. In children up to age 15, there is a 3% chance of an aggressive cancer in the eye called Retinoblastoma. Symptoms of this in a child’s eye are a “White Pupil “ reflex in a photo. When detected, this cancer can be caught early by dilating the eye.

Overall, the benefits far outweigh the risks in a dilation of the eyes. The side effects are blurry vision, and sensitivity to light for several hours following the exam (so bring a driver with you). The benefits, however, could be larger than life!

 

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