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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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When your eyes feel itchy, it’s a natural reaction to want to rub, rub, rub. It temporarily relieves the itching, and frankly feels great when you’re doing it. Unknowingly, however, you are likely doing short-term – and in some cases long-term – damage to your eyes. Here are some of the detrimental effects that can result from eye rubbing. 

  • Worsening of ocular allergies: rubbing an eye inflamed from allergies starts a vicious cycle. During the allergic ocular response, a chemical called histamine is released from a cell called a mast cell. It is this release of histamine that starts the red, itchy, watery eyes associated with allergies. Rubbing the eyes releases more histamine, causing the eyes to become more inflamed, perpetuating the cycle.
  • Risk of increased eye pressure: Putting pressure on the globe of the eye drastically increases intraocular pressure (IOP). While the effect is temporary, prolonged rubbing can increase your risk of developing glaucoma, a potentially blinding eye disease, especially if the IOP spikes high enough. 
  • Risk of retinal detachment: Any trauma to the eye can risk detaching the retina, the paper thin film that lines the back of the eye. Retinal detachment can present with symptoms such as seeing flashes, floaters, or a blacking out of the vision, but other times it can go undetected until it’s too late. Rubbing the eye causes unnecessary trauma to the globe, which can rupture the attachment of the retina to the back of the eye.
  • Keratoconus: More and more research is starting to show that ocular allergies and eye rubbing is a risk factor for developing keratoconus, a disease in which the cornea starts to bow out and form a cone shape. While the exact cause is not known, research suggests that the contant rubbing weakens the collagen bonds that helps the cornea keep its shape, resulting in the abnormal corneal bowing. 

Nothing good comes from eye rubbing. If your eyes are itchy, you can try over-the-counter antihistamine drops, cool compresses (which slows histamine release), and allergy medications to stop the itch.

Article contributed by Jonathan Gerard

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ

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