Long hours and computer screens are not the best combination for your eyes. Read this month’s Fairway Focus for some tips on how to protect them at work:
Fall in love with a new pair of glasses at our annual Fall Frame Show! Enjoy refreshments and live music while you browse the latest styles from Ray-Ban, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch and more. Show off your new specs in the photo booth and enter to win a brand new Apple Watch! Plus enjoy exclusive discounts only available at the event.
It’s important for us to know the difference between allergies and dry eye. More often than not, dry eye is mistaken for eye allergies. It may seem strange, but dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes.
Fairway Eye Center spoke to KSHB Channel 41‘s Alyson Bruner about the symptoms for both allergies and dry eye, and how they can help you find relief from watery eyes. If you can’t find relief from dry eye syndrome with over-the-counter eye care products, you might try Fairway Eye Center’s simple procedure with the MiBo Thermoflo. This new technology heats the eye lid, breaks up the oils and helps express the oil out of the glands so that the eyes can naturally produce the oils.
Below are symptoms for both allergies and dry eye.
Allergies and eyes:
- Swollen eye lids
- Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
Dr. Bunde also shares these helpful tips for relief from dry eye discomfort:
- Cold compresses to reduce inflammation
- Shower at night to wash away allergens
- Over-the-counter and prescription eye drops to helps with allergies
- Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can also decrease dry eye
- Drink plenty of water
Give your eyes a rest….. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.
Fairway Eye Center spoke to KSHB Channel 41‘s Alyson Bruner about the importance of eye exams. The time on spent digital devices is a concern as kids head back to school. We see at least one patient a day with eye strain issues like headaches, dry eyes and other problems from too much screen time.
Statistics from the American Optometric Association:
- Over 70% of vision problems goes undetected during vision screenings
- There are an estimated 10 million children in the US with undiagnosed vision problems that can affect learning and development
- Only 7% of US kids get an eye exam by the time they are starting 1st grade
As the temperatures rise and the sun begins to shine, we all get excited to spend more time outdoors. We take a stroll with a friend or attend a game of a child. Most of us remember to wear sunscreen to protect our skin against the sun’s harmful rays. However, do we all remember to protect our eyes, too?
The sun can cause damage in many ways to the eyes. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can lead to macular degeneration, cataracts, and eye cancers. UV rays can also lead to growths, called pterygium, which begin on the white part of the eye and eventually can affect the cornea. This condition is common among people who work outside. UV rays can come down from the sun but also can reflect from the ground, sand, water, and snow.
Everyone is at risk for UV damage from the sun. Children and adults should protect themselves. UV damage is cumulative over time so it is never too early to start wearing eye protection. The longer a person spends outside, the higher his/her risk of developing vision loss. In fact, some experts say that because children tend to spend significantly more time outdoors than most adults, up to half of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV radiation can occur by age 18.
There are simple things that everyone can do, such as wear sunglasses and hats to cover the eyes and block out the UV rays. It is important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days because the sun’s damage is still a risk even through the clouds. When selecting sunglasses, choose ones that block out at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound frames can be helpful to protect the eyes from every angle.
- Blue-blocking lenses. Blue-blocking lenses can make distant objects easier to see, especially in snow or haze. They’re popular with skiers, boaters and hunters. Lenses that block all blue light are tinted amber.However, when driving, it’s recommended that tinted sunglasses be gray to ensure proper traffic light recognition.
- Polarized lenses. Polarized lenses reduce reflected glare, such as sunlight that bounces off snow or water. They’re useful for skiing, driving and fishing.
- Photochromic lenses. These lenses darken or lighten as the amount of available light changes. However, they take time to adjust to different light conditions.
- Polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate lenses offer impact protection during potentially hazardous sports and activities.
- Mirror-coated lenses. Mirror-coated lenses reduce visible light.
- Gradient lenses. Single-gradient lenses, which are dark on the top and lighter on the bottom, reduce glare while allowing you to see clearly. They’re useful for driving, but not sports. Double-gradient lenses are dark on the top and bottom and lighter in the middle. They’re useful to wear during water or winter sports, but not for driving.
At Fairway Eye Center, we have a large selection of fashionable and attractive sunglasses from which to choose. Stop in to prepare for that upcoming Spring Break trip or your fun tennis match or round of golf.
From the moment we first open our eyes, they are aging. We just do not realize it until somewhere between the ages of 35 and 45 when we develop “short arm syndrome”. Seemingly over night, we start moving our cell phones back and forth, jockeying to find a comfortable place to see the screen. Medicine bottle directions seem to shrink to impossibly small, and the printers all conspire to make everything ridiculously tiny. At this point we need a different prescription in our glasses to see clearly far way and close. This is not because the muscles in the eye no longer work, its the lens in the eye aging and getting denser and less flexible. This is called presbyopia. You may notice at first that you can force it to change focus but after prolonged near work it takes several seconds to regain clear distance vision as the lens gets “stuck” in that position. At this point, typically, we will prescribe progressive multifocal lenses or multiple pairs of glasses.
As the lens continues to age, it becomes more dense and begins to become more opaque. It grays gradually just like our hair. The grayer it gets the more difficult it is to see. Its like looking through a dirty window; like in the winter when they salt the roads and the windshields gets grimy. The cloudy lens diffuses the light just like that grime on the windshield. If you are driving into the sun with a dirty windshield, the glare is blinding. The same happens with the opacifying lens, headlights glare and street lights can seem to have halos or spikey rings around them. Just as our hair does not change from gray to white overnight, it takes years for the lens to become completely opaque. At first it may seem like you just need new glasses. When the glare or the vision becomes troublesome making it difficult to drive or read, it is time for cataract surgery, removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a transparent plastic lens.
The inside of our eye is filled with a collaginous jello-like substance. It is a solid but it is squishy, called the vitreous. Just like the collagen in our skin changes and gravity is slowly sliding my cheeks down my face, the collagen in our vitreous changes and liquifies with age. As the vitreous becomes more and more liquid, you will see pieces of the “jello” floating around and casting shadows on your retina. They usually look like little bugs or hairs that move when you try to look at them. While these floaters are highly annoying, they are usually harmless. If the “jello” is still tightly adhered to the retina, as the support gives away, the jello can pull on the retina causing you to see flashes of light. If it pulls hard enough, it can cause a tear or break in the retina and fluid can get through the hole and push the retina forward causing a retinal detachment. While everyone gets floaters, very few have retinal detachments. If you are seeing flashes of light and floaters, your eyes need a dilated examination within the next day or two.
These are just a few of the “exciting” changes that occur with age.
Teresa A. Larcom, OD
Good vision allows our children to learn about the world more easily. Vision problems affect 1 in 20 preschoolers and 1 in 4 school-age children. Early intervention is the key to overcoming any vision difficulties that children may encounter. Programs, such as InfantSee, allow infants between the ages of 6-12 months to have an examination free of cost. The doctors at Fairway Eye Center are proud to participate in this important program.
Some of the most common eye conditions in kids include:
“Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye.” The most common causes of amblyopia include strabimus, cataracts, and unequal focus. It can be treated with patching one eye, atropine drops, the correct prescription for nearsightedness or farsightedness or surgery. Early treatment is important.
Strabismus is a visual defect in which the two eyes point in different directions. One eye may turn in, out, up or down while the other eye may be straight. When this happens, two different pictures are sent to the brain. The brain will then ignore the picture from the misaligned eye . This causes a decrease in depth perception. In most cases, the eyes can be straightened through muscle surgery even into adulthood.
Cataracts are the progressive clouding of the normally clear lens inside the eye. They appear similar to a frosted window. A child may be born with them because of genetics, infection during pregnancy, or low birth weight. Cataracts can be removed with surgery.
Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the clear mucous membrane that covers the white part of the eyeball and inside the eyelid. It is the most common type of eye infection and can spread easily.
- Never share personal items such as washcloths, hand towels or tissues.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
- Never (EVER) share your color contact lenses or special effect contacts with friends.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially when spending time at school or in other public places.
- Keep a hand disinfectant (e.g., Purell) handy and use it frequently.
- Frequently clean surfaces such as countertops, bathroom vanities, faucet handles and shared phones with an appropriate antiseptic cleaner.
- If you know you suffer from seasonal allergies, ask your doctor what can be done to minimize your symptoms before they begin.
- If you wear contacts, be sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions for lens care and replacement, and use contact lens solutions properly or consider switching to daily disposable contacts.
- When swimming, wear swim goggles to protect yourself from bacteria and other microorganisms in the water that can cause conjunctivitis.
- Before showering, using a hot tub or being in water of any kind, remove your contact lenses to avoid trapping bacteria between your eyes and the lenses.
Although these are just a few of the most common eye conditions for kids, it is important to get regular eye exams from a professional to identify any eye conditions that might affect a child’s vision.