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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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Many people can recall the 1980s song by Thomas Dolby, that includes the lyrics,

”She blinded me with science! And hit me with technology....”

In the 21st century, it seems that the blind can now “depend” on and anticipate science to restore vision.

Scientific advancement in the arena of neuroscience and medicine have given blind people hope that they never had before. The world of science and technology is providing inroads into greater opportunities in the advancement of sight restoration and retinal prosthetics with measured success.

Global statistics show nearly 40 million people are affected by some sort of blindness, with 15 million debilitated by AMD alone. The advancement of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) has sparked new research options for the blind, paving the way to future bionic eye treatments. Using eyeglasses with a camera that transmits images to an electrode implanted in the retina, images and movement can be detected. The Argus II, a retinal prosthesis device, is already available in the US and European markets with FDA approval in the United States.

Making a bionic eye is trickier than you think. The implant must not only respond to light, but also transmit the light to the neural pathways in the brain in order to process the light and subsequent vision.

The way our vision should work, is that light and images are processed through the, “film of the camera”, per se, called the retina. The retina relies on photoreceptors called rods and cones that take the visual image and transfer it through neural pathways to the brain, which in turn processes the vision causing us to see light, color, and images. The pathways of vision are processed through the second cranial nerve, the optic nerve. Scientists are working to restore those pathways damaged by glaucoma, stroke, head injury, and retinal disease or damage.

Advancements in this technology can lend to improvements in locating or identifying objects, orientation and mobility, detecting light and making certain household tasks easier, like locating utensils.

Although this technology is in its infancy, results are promising......and who knows, maybe in the future the Thomas Dolby song will need to be sung as “She UN-blinded me with science.”

 

References:

1. “The Bionic Eye” The Scientist, October 2014

2. Jef Akst,”Retinal Film Detects Light” The Scientist, November 13, 2014

3. www.amd.org

4. www.2-sight.eu

 

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