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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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Why You Should Take Extra Care to Protect Your Eyes

Why You Should Take Extra Care to Protect Your Eyes

You may know that your eye health is a very important part of life since your eyesight is a vital factor in everyday life.  Did you know that summer time poses specific challenges that require your attention in regards to your eye health?  We’re compiling a short series of posts that will address specific challenges we face when it comes to preserving your eye health during the summer months.  In today’s post we’re going to visit why you need to take extra care to protect your eyes specifically during summer.

Why You Should Take Extra Care to Protect Your EyesWhat’s So Bad About Summer?

While most people enjoy the longer days and warmer weather brought on by summer few are familiar with the fact that they put themselves at risk to harmful UV(ultraviolet) radiation.  There are three primary forms of radiation given off by the sun, UVA, UVB and UVC.  In a pervous post we explored the difference between UVA and UVB rays – you can visit that post here,  while UVA and UVB rays pose a threat UVC rays do not enter our atmosphere and are not normally attributed to causing cancer. During the summer months (May-August in North America) the sun’s UV rays are at their peak.  This leads to stronger and a prolonged period of UV radiation.  Exposure to the sun’s intense radiation can cause irreversible damage to not only your skin but to your eyes as well.

Prevention and Protection

While it may be tempting to lay out at the pool or spend hours outdoors it’s important to remember that the strongest period of radiation is between 10 am and 4pm.  If you can try scheduling your outdoor time in the morning or later in the afternoon.  If it can’t be avoided and you find yourself exposed to the sun during the peak hours the best option is to keep yourself protected.  Apply ample amounts of sunscreen to exposed skin, wear suitable eye protection, or keep your skin covered by wearing loose clothing.  You can often find clothing specifically provides UV protection.  For more about UV protecting clothing visit this link.

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Leading Causes of Dry Eyes

Leading Causes of Dry Eyes

Every year thousands of people suffer with dry eyes – did you know that eye dryness can be a symptom of your lifestyle?  Today we’re going to have a look at a few leading causes of dry eyes and how to avoid them.

Environmental

Leading Causes of Dry Eyes

One of the main causes of eye dryness may simply be related to where you are living, working, partaking in activities.  Because dust, dirt or airborne allergens can cause your eyes to be red, itchy, swollen and dry.  This is especially true for allergy sufferer since often times it’s the unseen contaminants that affect your eyes causing them to water excessively and in result drying out your eyes.  Another common environmental factor is the climate you’re living in if it’s an arid climate with low humidity you may find yourself dealing with dry eyes more frequently.  Even if you live in a humid environment you may still find yourself dealing with dry eyes on windy days.

Medication

Another common factor that can lead to dry eyes may be lurking in your medicine cabinet.  Did you know that it’s not an uncommon side effect of many over the counter as well as prescription medications to include eye dryness?  If you’re regularly taking prescription or over the counter medications and suffering from dryness of eyes take a closer look at your medicine cabinet or talk to your doctor.

Screen Time

In our day and age we’re surrounded by electronic screens, from our computers at work, in line at the grocery store, at home in front of our television to even while enjoying a book on our e-readers.  We’ve already written about how too much screen time can have an affect on your eyes, including causing your eyes to become dry.  If you’re certain screen time is causing your eyes to dry out don’t worry since that can usually be solved by taking breaks away from a screen.