Safety Glasses and Workplace Eye Wellness Month

February 27, 2013

Workplace safety is often discussed in certain industries more than others. Wearing safety glasses when performing certain activities wherein dirt, chemicals, dust, or metal may enter the eye is integral to a safe approach to ocular health at work. Your workplace may even cover a pair of safety glasses in your prescription, if they are required for your occupation (don’t forget that proper ocular safety is important even off the job! Wearing safety glasses while performing activities which could risk ocular health at home is always the safest option).

It should be surprising, and even concerning, that the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that only 35% of people polled always wear protective eye wear. Although OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) estimates that 90% of workplace injuries could have been avoided with proper safety glasses, many workers fail to use proper protection, or avoid them altogether. Although it can be a hassle to wear safety glasses, the slight annoyance is far less of a price to pay than the price one risks paying when avoiding proper eye safety material use. The risks of permanent, irreparable ocular damage are certainly much higher in severity when one avoids wearing recommended safety equipment.

Ocular eye injuries can result in temporary or permanent visual or ocular damages in addition to requiring possible numerous doctor visits, causing discomfort, and lost wages due to an inability to work during healing, if the injury is severe enough to warrant time off from work.

Picking the proper lens material for your workplace needs can be a daunting task. While glass lenses are resistant to scratches and protect against chemical exposure, they lack resistance to injuries from impact (and can, in fact, worsen injuries). Polycarbonate lenses are lighter than glass and are more likely to withstand impact. We have many options for safety glasses in our optical department and our optical staff is available to assist you in choosing the proper safety eye wear for your needs.

View full article »

Macular Degeneration

February 20, 2013

Age-Related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is a disorder which can negatively affect your vision. People who smoke, the aged, people with a family history of AMD, females, people who are obese, patients with hypertension or cardiovascular disease, and those whose diets are low in ruffage vegetables and high in fatty foods are at a higher risk for AMD development. Although these patients may have a higher propensity for development of AMD, it can and does occur in patients with few or none of the above risk factors. Macular degeneration affects the area of the eye which controls central vision. While glaucoma, which we discussed in January, affects the peripheral vision and may go unnoticed for extensive periods of time, macular losses can be much more easily subjectively noticed as central vision can be reduced, blurred, or completely lost.

There are two primary types of age-related macular degeneration: dry and wet. While the dry form is the most common type, it can progress into the more severe wet form. Loss of vision is a risk in both types; however, it occurs at a more expedited rate with wet macular degeneration.

Check out the videos below for a more comprehensive discussion of macular degeneration!

Dry Macular Degeneration

Wet Macular Degeneration

Healthcare professionals suggest that preventative dietary choices can reduce the development of AMD and may decrease its progression in already affected patients. Vitamin therapies and the addition of certain food groups can be beneficial in reducing macular degeneration risks, severity, and progression rates.

Diets rich in certain foods can aide in macular and overall health. Suggested ruffage to include in your everyday diet:

KaleSpinachCollard greensBroccoliCabbageEndiveTurnip greensSwiss chardMustard greensRomaine lettucesWatercressRadicchio

Below is a macula-healthy shake recipe! Enjoy!

View full article »

Loving Your Eyes

February 13, 2013

We often take for granted our vision. Seeing isn’t a voluntary action; we see without thinking of the process of vision or the opportunities that visual capabilities give us. Keeping our vision and eyes healthy are excellent ways to celebrate this gift; routine eye examinations are an important facet of loving your eyes. Your eye care professional can monitor your vision and eye health and can best recommend appropriate treatments, glasses, and lifestyle choices.

Ways to Love Your Eyes:

Wearing UV protection in direct sunlight; this helps to limit the negative impact of UV light on ocular health. UV protection helps to guard against complications to vision and eye health such as: pinguecula, pterygium, and retinal damage.Good hygiene; a boon to overall health, hygienic approaches to daily activities can decrease the risks of ocular complications (including bacterial and chemical infections).Dilated exams, frequency based on eye care professional’s recommendation. Dilation, while sometimes irritating to your comfort on sunny days, is a vital part of routine eye exams and/or medical examinations of the eyes. Dilation opens the pupil (the black part of the eye) and allows your doctor to have a less restricted view of the retina, macula, optic disc, and optic nerve.Wearing safety glasses when appropriate. If there is a risk for exposure to a foreign material (metal, glass, dust, paint, wood, etc), wearing safety materials can reduce your risk of ocular complications.Diet and exercise. Healthy living means healthy eyes! While diet and nutrition are integral parts of any lifestyle, always ensure that you check with your primary medical doctor prior to beginning any new regimen.Diets rich in leafy green vegetables and Omega-3s; leafy greens aide in macular health, while Omega-3s (fish oils, flaxseed oils, eggs, and walnuts).Diabetic patients adhering to their doctor’s advice on blood sugar control, medication, and advised routine examinations, which will often include dilation.Avoiding smoking.Examinations in childhood to follow and treat common childhood disorders.

“I think the eyes flirt most. There are so many ways to use them.”-Anna Held

View full article »

Heart Disease

February 6, 2013

February is American Heart month. Healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction, avoiding smoking, and routine exams with your primary care physician can be integral to your continued overall and heart health. What you may not know is that your retinal health can reflect the health of your heart as well. It is even possible that your eye doctor could be the first professional to notice and diagnose systemic diseases during a dilated examination. This is able to occur in ophthalmology because the eye is the only organ in which doctors can view blood vessels unobstructed. Dilated examinations are vital for continued eye health, and may even result in a systemic diagnosis which could save your life!

Strokes are both a heart and an eye concern. While you may be familiar with the damages associated with a stroke, including decreased mobility, speech changes, and death, you may not be aware of the damages caused by an occlusive, or stroke, event in the eye. There are multiple types of occlusive attacks, but they all generally share a common element: they can be severely detrimental to vision and can indicate a need for cardiovascular evaluation.

Two Types of Occlusive Eye Attacks

BRVO: Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

Often characterized by a sudden onset of central vision defect or blurry vision.Vision loss is usually unilateral, but can be bilateralTreatment options can range from increased aspirin regimen to laser treatment to intraocular injections; these treatments are usually to reduce, prevent, or eliminate further complications from BRVO.

CRVO: Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

Often characterized by a sudden or gradual loss of vision, ranging from mild to severe; onset may be instantaneous but may take as long as a few weeks to present. This can progress to constant vision loss, a blind, painful eye or eyes, light sensitivity, and ocular redness.Vision loss is usually unilateral, but can be bilateral.Although there are treatment options available for CRVO, there is limited possibility for full recovery in an eye after this type of occlusive attack. Good visual recovery occurs in 10% or less than 10% of patients who suffer CRVO. Further, 10% of patients who suffer a CRVO in one eye will develop a CRVO in the other eye. Although there is no definitive prevention for CRVO, it is advised that good intraocular pressure control in patients with glaucoma and control of general systemic diseases may reduce risk.

Why Immediate Evaluation is Important if Vision is Lost

Vision may be saved, even partiallyOcclusive attacks may suggest a need to evaluate medicationsOcclusive attacks could indicate a need to have a cardiovascular evaluationThough occlusive attacks are possible, vision may be lost to other reasons, some of which are easily treatable, provided immediate intervention occurs.

View full article »