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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.

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UVA vs. UVB What’s the Difference?

UVA vs. UVB - what's the difference? Protecting your eyes

UVA vs. UVB - what's the difference? Protecting your eyes

We know that there are supplements and food we can eat to help promote healthy eyes and we know practical ways to protect our eyes from the sun.  Amongst all the information we’ve learned have you ever found yourself wonder what’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays?  In today’s post we’re going to explore this question and leave you with some insightful information.

UVA – Long Term Effects

Dark spots, damaged skin, wrinkles?  These are the long term effects caused by UVA rays – unfortunately UVA rays are present year round no matter the season or weather.  Over your lifetime you are exposed to countless hours of UVA rays – penetrating deep into your skin it is responsible for common signs of aging.

UVB – On the Surface

If you’ve been sunburned you’ve felt the effect of UVB rays.  Unlike UVA rays UVB rays increases in strength over the summer months and decreases during winter. While it’s only at its strongest for a few short months, you should beware the UVB rays.  The effects can be seen on the surface of your skin by resulting in sunburn, however just under the surface it can cause cell damage.

Take Proper Precautions

We hope this post has been insightful to you and we wanted to leave you with a couple tips on how to take proper precautions against UVA and UVB rays.  We recommend protecting your eyes all year long by wearing sunglasses.  It’s important to make sure your sunglasses offer UVA (in addition to UVB) protection since exposure can cause long term damage to your eyes.  During the summer months we recommend staying indoors or properly protected from the sun between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm since this is when UVB rays are the strongest and pose the greatest threat to your eyes.

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How to: Choose Sunglasses that fit Your Style

How to Choose Sunglasses that are Functional and Stylish

How to Choose Sunglasses that are Functional and Stylish

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, young or old, there’s one essential accessory you should never leave home without.  That is your sunglasses!  Not only do your sunglasses provide your eyes with protection from the elements – including damage from harmful ultraviolet(UV) rays – did you know your sunglasses can be a fashion statement?  Today we’re going to share a few tips with you to help you choose sunglasses that not only offer protection but will compliment your own personal style.

It’s All about Coverage

When choosing a pair of sunglasses, one very important factor to take into consideration is the level of UV protection.  You should look for lenses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV rays.  Anything less will not provide you with adequate protection.  Another important thing to consider is how much coverage the frames will provide.  You want to find a pair of frames that will block as much unfiltered light from your eyes.  Especially if you plan to use your sunglasses while you drive you want to make sure they don’t allow light to pour in the sides unfiltered.

Embrace Your Style

If you prefer a classic and casual look, new or edgy, or even retro you’re in luck.  In our day and age there are countless varieties of shapes, styles and colors available for sunglasses.  Whether you plan on buying sunglasses over the counter or if you need to order prescription lenses we recommend evaluating your personal style.  Make note of colors or styles you tend to lean toward and start shopping.

How to Choose Sunglasses: Take Recommendations

While your opinion and choice of style is the most important it couldn’t hurt to bring a friend or family member along to help you decide between styles.  Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new – sometimes all it takes is a nudge out of our style comfort zones to find our new favorite fashion statement!

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Tips for Childhood Eye Care

Tips for Child Eye Care

Tips for Childhood Eye Care

As a parent you want the best for your child and it’s understandable to want them to achieve in life to the best of their abilities.  Whether it’s through academics, athletics and sports, and even on a social level you want them to succeed.  Often times when a child is struggling to keep up with their peers it’s easy to address a variety of potential roadblocks.  Did you know that oftentimes when a child is struggling academically, athletically or even socially the cause may not be what you think.

According to Dr. Gary Heiting in his article Vision Problems of School Age Children, 1 in 4 school age children have vision problems, that if left untreated can affect the child’s academic ability.  Below we’ve put together a few tips for Childhood Eye Care.

1. Regular Eye Exams

It is strongly encouraged for children to regularly see a doctor and in some cases specifically an eye doctor.  Especially if there is a family history of vision problems or eye diseases.  In that case you’ll want to see an Ophthalmologist or an Optometrist.  Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that provides eye exams, general eye care and can diagnose and treat eye diseases as well as perform eye surgery.  An Optometrist is a healthcare professional who does not treat complex vision problems or perform surgery, however they do provide eye exams, diagnose common vision disorders, treat a specific range of eye diseases and prescribe corrective lenses.

2. Open Communication

While sometimes children are able to specifically bring attention to a potential vision problem it’s not uncommon for them to live with symptoms and not know it’s a problem, especially if the problem has existed for most of their childhood.  Because of this it’s important to keep open communication both with your child and their teachers, tutors or coaches.  Usually the adults in your child’s life will know if your child squints or shows difficulty reading up close or across the room.  Headaches or complaints that their “eye’s hurt” after a prolonged activity might be a sign to have a doctor take a closer look.

3. Watch for Eye Fatigue

Sometimes symptoms that might look like a potential vision problem in a child can be simply be a case of “Eye Fatigue”.  For more information on Eye Fatigue and how to treat it check out our previous post, How Screen Time Affects Your Eyes. [http://pingueculaeyedrops.com/screen-time-affects-eyes/]

As a parent you are your child’s best advocate, if you think something may be wrong don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.  In some cases just a little care is what your child needs to succeed.

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Supplements to Improve Your Eyesight

Supplements to improve your eyesight

Supplements to improve your eyesight

Growing up it’s likely you heard on more than one occasion, “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes!”  And while it’s true that carrots contain high concentrations of nutrients like Vitamin A it can be hard for busy individuals to consume the necessary amount to see the benefits.  So what do you do when the last thing you have time for is to calculate, prepare and consume nutrient rich foods on a daily basis?  The solution may be a simple one but it is effective for busy people living busy lives. Today, we’re going to discuss supplements to improve your eyesight.

Supplement Staples: Supplements to Improve Your Eyesight

Taking supplements is a quick and easy way to add necessary nutrients to your diet.  However if you’ve ever visited the supplement aisle at your local grocery or even stepped foot inside a shop dedicated entirely to supplements and vitamins it’s likely the experience can feel overwhelming.  That’s why we’ve compiled a brief list of nutrients you should look for when choosing a supplement to add to your daily regimen.

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Calcium
  • Folic Acid
  • Lutein
  • N-acetyl Cysteine
  • Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
  • Selenium
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Zinc

It’s typical to find a multivitamin that contains all of these nutrients however if you can’t find one you can fill in the gap by taking an individual vitamin since most manufacturers also produce supplements containing one component, for example, Lutein is a common nutrient you can find sold individually. You can also find many of these vitamins in your food. Learn what foods are the best for your eye health.

On Adding Supplements to Your Diet

It is always advised that you discuss any supplements you intend to add to your diet with your doctor especially if you are already taking medications to avoid any unwanted side-effects.  We also recommend being mindful of the manufacturer’s expiration date.  In addition we recommend looking for natural or organic supplements since these will often taste better and usually offer a quality guarantee.

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How “Screen Time” Affects Your Eyes

How Screen Time Affects Eyes

How Screen Time Affects Eyes

In our day and age we are surrounded by screens.  Between our smartphones, electronic readers, computer screens at work and our home televisions the average American devotes up to 10 hours a day looking at screens according to a report by CNN.  With all of this time spent looking at screens the questions has been raised, “How does Screen Time affect your eyes?”  Today we’re going to have a look at what you may expect from prolonged screen time.

Eye Fatigue

One of the most widespread issues with prolonged screen time is eye fatigue or eye strain.  This simply means that your eye is tired from extended periods of focusing without blinking to help keep the eye properly moisturized.  This can also result in eye redness as well as temporarily blurred vision.   While eye fatigue or strain may be uncomfortable it is typically superficial and can be remedied by taking a break from whatever task has you looking at a screen.  If you’re at school or work try taking a break by stretching or taking a trip to the water cooler if you have the opportunity.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Another possible risk with prolonged screen time is what has been called Computer Vision Syndrome.  This is prevalent in not only adults but in children as well.  This can lead to myopia which is a refractive error in which a person can see near objects clearly but objects in the distance are blurred – this is also called nearsightedness.  If you are concerned about Computer Vision Syndrome in either yourself or a loved one especially school aged children consider breaking up screen time with alternative activities.

Protect Your Eyes During Screen Time, and Get Regular Checkups

While it’s important to limit screen time, especially when you notice an effect on your eyesight, we encourage you to have regular eye examinations.  Consistent eye care will help you monitor your eye health and help you make informed decisions regarding the amount of screen time that is right for you!