Posted on

Your Eyes and Your Health

Your Eyes and Your Health

You’ve probably heard it said that the eyes are the window to the soul.  While that may or may not be true researchers have made an interesting discovery.  That your eyes may actually help evaluate your overall health. As well as indicate whether or not you may be prone to or have underlying diseases or illnesses.

Your Eyes and Your Health

So if your eyes can help tip doctors off to potential health risks how exactly does it work?  What are doctors looking for when examining your eyes? Research tells us the signs that they are looking for are very small and in most cases tiny.  By observing small changes within the blood vessels within your eye they are able to make out indicators. These indicators can help shed some light on the overall health of your body.  Alerting doctors to underlying health issues or diseases such as,

  • Diabetes
  • STD’s
  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol
  • Many More

Your eyes can also help indicate if there are any changes occurring within your mental health.  Conditions such as Alzheimer’s in some cases can be detected through careful and thorough eye examinations. The key to properly treating these health issues and diseases is early diagnosis.  Through regular examinations and communication with your doctor you can take steps to improve your health.

Visit Your Eye Doctor

We cannot stress enough the importance of visiting your eye doctor regularly.  With regular exams your doctor will be able to track and be made aware of any changes taking place in your eyes.  This can also help them notice if there could be any underlying health conditions that are affecting your overall health.  Remember that if you have any health concerns or questions we recommend visiting your doctor to further discuss and properly diagnose you.  If you have any health concerns contact your doctor today.

Posted on

Eye Floaters: What Are They?

Eye Floater

Perhaps you’ve seen them.  A tiny shadow or shape in the corner of your eye or something that seems to cross your vision.  You try to focus to have a closer look only to find that the shadow has disappeared. What was that?  Are you seeing ghosts? Chances are you didn’t see anything supernatural or even unnatural for that matter.  In today’s post we’re going to share some information and answer a common question regarding eye floaters: what are they?  And show you that they really aren’t anything to be worried about. Let’s begin by looking closer at what an eye floater is exactly.

Eye Floaters: What Are They?

Typically eye floaters consist of microscopic fibers or a jelly like substance that clumps together in your eye.  It is believed that these occur naturally as we age. So why do we see shadows or specks in our vision? This happens when the clump of fibers happen to be in just the right spot to cast a shadow on your retina.  Typically this only lasts a few seconds but sometimes it’s possible for a floater to be seen for a few moments. A floater is lodged in just the right spot that you can see it when you look in certain directions and when the light is just right.

What Can You Do About Eye Floaters?

Commonly an eye floater is nothing to be concerned about.  Over time they will begin to sink to the bottom of your eye where you cannot see them anymore.  In rare occasions if one is disrupting your vision doctors can surgically remove them. However, that is typically not the case and is unnecessary.  If an eye floater is causing discomfort we highly recommend seeing your eye doctor. Along with receiving annual eye check ups to ensure that your eyes stay in optumhealth!  Only your doctor can accurately diagnose and treat eye conditions and symptoms.

Posted on

What Women Need to Know About Their Eye Health

Womens Eye Health

April is women’s eye health and safety month and in honor of women everywhere we are focusing in on women’s eye health.  We’re going to do that by addressing some specific tips and advice we have regarding what women need to know about their eye health.  As well as looking at the causes that may affect your eyesight.

What Women Need to Know About Their Eye Health

  • Pregnancy.  This is one thing that can dramatically affect women’s eyesight.  Because women experience steady changes or extreme fluctuations in their hormones this is one factor that can result in changes in their eyesight.  To learn more about the specific vision changes that can occur during pregnancy check out this list compiled by BabyCenter.
  • Higher Risk.  According to the National Eye Institute being a woman puts you at higher risk for eye disease.  They have reported that ⅔ of blindness and visual impairment is made up of women. And that they have greater instances of eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataract.

Because of their higher risk and the impact pregnancy and changing hormones.  This can have on a woman’s vision we recommend the following action.

Talk to Your Doctor Regularly.  We cannot stress the importance of routine doctor visits and talking with your doctor regularly.  Especially if you notice any changes in vision. As always we recommend seeing your eye doctor annually in order to keep track of any changes that may occur during the year.

Eat Healthy.  We cannot stress enough the importance of a balanced diet or the importance of taking vitamins to help supplement your eye health.  In fact having a balanced diet and taking vitamins preventively can have a significant impact on your vision.

This April as we focus on women’s eye health and safety remember to reach out to the women in your life.  And remind them to take the time to take care of their eye health. Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor and begin taking steps to preserve your vision.

Posted on

Contact Lense Basics: What You Need to Know

Contact Lense Basics

Because there are over 30 million contact lense wearers in the U.S. alone we decided it would be valuable to share contact lense basics: what you need to know.  In order to help educate contact lense wearers and their family on the use and basics care of lenses.  Especially if you are a parent of a child that wears contact lenses here are a few tips to keep in mind.  To ensure your, or your loved ones, lenses are being used appropriately.

Contact Lense Basics: What You Need to Know

Whether you or a loved one wears contact lenses here are a few tips to help ensure you get the best use out of them.  Be sure to follow your doctors instructions especially when it comes to wear time.  For example do not wear lenses for longer than the prescribed time.   Because some will be specifically made for all day/all night wear and others are for day wear only be sure you check with your doctor about your lenses.  A common mistake made by lense wearers is that they will take naps, even short naps while wearing their lenses.  This can result in keratitis, which is inflammation of the cornea and can result in infection as well as altering the shape of your eye/cornea.

Another important tip we recommend is making sure that your hands are always clean when handling your contact lenses.  Like many prescriptions contact lenses have an expiration or a “life span”.  Talk to your doctor to learn how long your lenses should last and when you should replace them.  Using old and worn out lenses can inadvertently cause eye damage.

Talk to Your Doctor

As always we encourage you to talk with your doctor concerning your contact lense and eye care needs.  It’s important to keep in mind that over time your eyes can change so regular visits to your doctor can ensure that your eyes stay in optumhealth.

 

 

Posted on

Color Blindness: Know the Basics

Color Blindness: Know the Basics

Color blindness impacts a considerably large range of people both male and female.  In fact color blindness affects nearly 8% of the male population and .5% of the female population.  Whether you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with color blindness or if you’re trying to access whether or not you are affected.  In today’s post we’re going to take a closer to at color blindness: know the basics in order to help inform you of this common condition.  We’re going to address a common misconception and explain what really causes the condition.  Let’s begin by addressing a common misconception followed by the reality of this condition.

Color Blindness: Know the Basics

Just hearing the name, “Color Blindness” will often cause people to imagine living in a world void of color.  People usually imagine black and white episodes of Leave It To Beaver on old colorless screen television sets.  Or that their vision is similar to your canine companion – dogs don’t see color, right?  The truth is neither of these are true.  In fact most people affected by color blindness will have difficulty seeing pairs of colors while the rest are visible with no problem.

Common Color Combinations and Causes

The most common combinations of colors that color blind people have difficulty seeing are: red and green, being the most common, followed by blue and yellow.  However, there can be variations depending on the individual.

Now, you may be wondering what causes color blindness?  The answer is simpler than you may think, in fact, most color blindness is caused by genetics.  Inherited color blindness is the most popular form.  However, it is possible to for color blindness to appear when the eye experienced chemical or physical damage.

As always whether you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of color blindness we strongly recommend visiting your eye doctor.  Only a professional can diagnose and properly treat eye conditions.

Posted on

Visual Stress: Know the Signs

Visual Stress: Know the Signs

 

We know that the day to day stress on our eyes from electronic screens to school work, homework and reading can be taxing.  Leaving our eyes feeling tired and dry.  What if there was more to your eye fatigue?  In some cases you may be experiencing a more severe case of visual stress.  In today’s post we’re going to take a closer look at visual stress and a possible solution for people suffering from this condition.

What is Visual Stress?

Visual stress describes a condition where the person affected notices symptoms within 10 to 15 minutes – if not immediately – when they begin reading.  This can leave their eyes feeling strained and uncomfortable.  In some cases eye stress can leave you with headaches or migraines!  Not only is it uncomfortable it can cause the person affected to miss information resulting in frequent mistakes.  Could you or someone you love be suffering from visual stress?  Below we’ve compiled a list of common, but not inclusive, signs you may be experiencing visual stress.

Signs of Visual Stress

Rapid eye fatigue, skipping lines or words while reading, text moves/floats/shifts/waves while reading.  Difficulty copying text, headaches or migraines occur while reading, difficulty tracking words on pages/screens.

These are just a few common symptoms of visual stress.  We encourage you to visit your doctor if you have symptoms like these and have your eyes evaluated.  It can be incredibly difficult to endure these symptoms on a daily basis.  If someone you love or if you are dealing with these on a daily basis we recommend seeing your doctor.  They can then help you determine a course of action to begin reducing eye strain.  One interesting, although controversial, solution is tinted lenses.  While the effects are disputed it is an interesting idea on reducing visual stress.

Posted on

Simple Tips to Help Prevent Dry Eyes

Simple Tips to Help Prevent Dry Eyes

As the weather is changing and ushering in cold, dry winter weather it’s no wonder more people experience dry eyes.  Not only do we have the climate contributing to dry eyes but there are a number of other factors as well.  In today’s post we’re going to look at the common contributors to winter dry eyes as well as simple tips to help prevent dry eyes!

Contributors to Winter Dry Eyes

Not only do we have the winter climate to deal with but we have these unavoidable factors as well.  As the temperatures drop most of us turn up the heat.  In our homes we fire up our furnaces, in our office spaces we have space heaters, and in our cars we turn up our heaters.  Unfortunately while these things help keep our spaces comfortable they do a number on our eyes!

Simple Tips to Help Prevent Dry Eyes

Because it’s impossible to avoid these winter time necessities here are some tips to help prevent excessive dryness.

1. On the Go

To help prevent dry eyes while driving follow this simple tip – keep your air vents pointed away from your face.

2. At Home

A simple way you can improve the air in your home my come as a surprise.  To help prevent dry eyes at home invest in a humidifier.

3. Talk to Your Doctor

If you suffer through wintry dry eyes we recommend talking with your doctor.  While occasional dry eyes can be remedied by over the counter eye drops severe or extra dry eyes may require professional care.

Now you can see how a few simple changes can make a difference.  We hope this post has been insightful and these tips will help you enjoy the winter season free from dry eyes!  To learn more about the leading causes of dry eyes visit our prior post.

Posted on

Simple Tips to Care For Your Eyes

Simple Tips to Care for Your Eyes

As North America begins to transition from summer to fall the holidays are right around the corner.  Before the busyness of the season kicks in we wanted to share with you a few simple tips to care for your eyes.  We all know during the holiday season it’s easier to take care of others before yourself.  That’s why now is the time to make sure your eyes are in tip top shape.

1. Adjust Your Vehicles Air Vent

One way you can help prevent seasonal dry eyes is adjusting your vehicle’s air vents.  As we transition from air conditioning in our cars to blasting the heater it can affect your eyes.  Try pointing the vents toward the floor and away from your face.  This will help prevent your eyes from drying out while driving.

2. Stock Up on Vitamins

In a previous post we discussed the importance of taking vitamins for your eye health.  Now what happens when you run out of your daily vitamins?  As the holidays are approaching now is a good time to stock up on your supply.  That way if you happen to run out of vitamins you have a back up ready and waiting.  You can’t take your vitamins if you don’t have any!

3. Get An Eye Exam

We cannot stress this tip enough.  As the holidays are approaching it’s likely you’ll put your own priorities to the side.  Before the hectic schedules ensue why not take time for yourself?  It’s recommended that you see an eye care specialist annually.  So if you haven’t seen an eye doctor yet this year now’s the time!

Simple Tips to Care For Your Eyes

We hope this post has been insightful and has encouraged you to take steps toward caring for your eyes.  Especially with the holiday season approaching now is the time implement these simple tips.

Posted on

How Smoking Can Affect Your Eyes

How Smoking Can Affect Your Eyes

 

We do a lot to ensure our eyes stay healthy.  On a daily basis we take vitamins, eat eye healthy foods, we even wear protective eye wear.  All of these things can become habits over time and over time we start to see the benefits.  Unfortunately the same can be true for unhealthy habits.  In today’s post we’re going to take a look at how smoking can affect your eyes.

How Smoking Can Affect Your Eyes

In North America people choose to smoke for many different reasons.  Some smoke to help relieve stress and others smoke socially.  Whatever your reason it’s important to be informed of the potential health risks.  According to an article published by Medical News Today, smoking can increase your risk of cataracts as well as macular degeneration.

  • Cataracts.  We know that cataracts are painless but progressive cloudiness that develops in the internal lens of the eye.  Over time cataracts block light and can cause limited eyesight and/or blindness.  While cataracts can appear naturally smoking increases this risk.  Fortunately through medical advances there are procedures to help reverse the damage.
  • Macular Degeneration.  Is the leading cause of serious vision loss although it will never cause complete blindness.  It takes place in the retina located in the back of the eye.  Typically this develops as the individual ages and can create significant visual disability.  Unlike cataracts it is irreversible.

Steps Toward Healthier Eyes

While everyone has the right to choose whether or not to smoke you can think about it just like you would any other area of your life.  Does this decision help me take steps toward a healthier life?  Just like choosing healthy foods over unhealthy food or protecting your eyes from damaging sunlight.  If you need help taking steps toward healthier eyes you can start by talking with your doctor.

 

 

Posted on

Back to School with Your Eyes In Mind

Back to School with Your Eyes in Mind

Back to School with Your Eyes in MindWith summer coming to an end along with it’s adventures and memories made it seems like you can already feel fall in the air.  It’s no wonder since many retailers are already launching back to school sales and specials.  Are you, your child or grandchild returning to school this fall?  If so we’re going to share some advice with you about going back to school with your eyes in mind.

Back to School with Your Eyes In Mind

Whether you, your child or grandchild is returning to school this fall it’s important to make an appointment with your eye doctor.  You may be wondering if you may even need to see a doctor if you haven’t noticed any changes in your eyesight.  The answer is yes!  Changes to your eyesight can be gradual and almost completely unnoticeable – especially in children since changes can occur without them noticing.  While in some cases children my know something with their eyesight has changed but they may not mention or bring it up thinking it is normal.

Eye Fatigue – Reading Glasses

Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not you or your child returning to school has been reading over the summer.  While many schools require students to finish summer homework or complete a reading list some students finish these projects quickly or don’t read at all over the summer.  Because of this students can often find themselves experiencing eye fatigue or strain when they return to the classroom and reading extensively begins again.  If this is the case many students can be prescribed reading glasses to help aid in any changes that have occurred over the summer.  In some cases doctors will prescribe reading glasses to students to help combat eye fatigue.  This is fairly common and is no cause for concern.

Whether you’ve spent your summer on the go with no books in sight or you’ve enjoyed the countless adventures you can only experience in the pages of a book – it’s important to have your eyes checked before returning to school.