October is Eye Injury Prevention Month

October 24, 2013

Over 2 million people in the United States suffer eye injuries annually. While some injuries are unavoidable or resultant from accidental occurrences in out-of-the-ordinary situations (eg. car accidents, falls, etc), many of these injuries occur due to negligence in wearing the proper protective eye wear. By and large, men have a higher risk for eye injuries than women (be careful, guys). Nearly half of eye injuries occur at home; a portion of these occur during projects dedicated to home upkeep (like yard maintenance, home repairs, cooking, and cleaning).

Protective eye wear is vitally important; it’s estimated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology that up to 90% of eye injuries could have been prevented or mitigated by safety glasses! Wearing protective eye wear that bears the label ANSI Z87.1 is an excellent step in reducing the risk of permanent damage from injuries sustained to the eyes. While no safety measures are inherently infallible, taking steps to decrease the risk of injury can make the difference between a life-altering injury and minor (or no) damage. Many companies will contribute to, or pay for in total, the cost of safety eye wear.

At Legarreta Eye Center, we have many options for safety and sport eye wear available at all three of our locations; if you would like to make an investment in your eye health, consider purchasing a reliable pair of safety glasses! As always, UV Protection is also important for optimum ocular health. Ensuring that the exposure of the eye to harmful UV radiation is as limited as possible is equally as important as wearing protective glasses during risky activities. Sunglasses may be covered under your insurance care provider (especially if they are dispensed with your current prescription). If you have any questions or concerns or would like to schedule an appointment for an eye examination, call any of our three locations today!

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October is Blindness Awareness Month

October 12, 2013

October is World Blindness Awareness Month. 180 million people worldwide (according to the World Health Organization) suffer from blindness or some form of impaired vision. Gaining understanding of the magnitude of visual impairment is important at any time of year, but especially during the month of October. October 11th is World Sight Day, an observation that helps shed light on the importance of vision.

EyeCare America is an organization that raises awareness of ocular disorders, health management, and provides a wealth of amazing information about the eye, its diseases, and what you can do to help those that are visually impaired. We often take our good vision for granted; what better way to give back to your community than by assisting someone who may have functional limitations due to visual impairments? For information on EyeCare America, visit: http://www.eyecareamerica.org/

If it has been a while since your last eye exam, an exam during Blindness Awareness month could be a great idea! If you need to schedule an exam, give any of our three locations a call! We even offer some evening and Saturday hours!

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Bell’s Palsy

October 3, 2013

Bell’s palsy is often characterized by a weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. While similar in appearance to the results of a stroke, Bell’s palsy is not normally linked to a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). If you notice a sudden weakness on one side of your face, or are concerned for your health at all, visit an emergency room or your primary doctor immediately. Bell’s Palsy can affect the eyes, especially the ability to produce sufficient lubrication for the surface and a difficulty keeping the eye on affected side open.

While the exact cause of Bell’s palsy is unclear, it is thought that many cases are related to the herpes simplex one virus. Bell’s palsy often presents with an inflammation of the nerve that controls unilateral facial muscles. Symptoms of Bell’s palsy include sudden weakness/drooping/paralysis of one side of the face; a difficulty closing eye on affected side; inability to control drooling; tearing; decreased or total loss of ability to taste; ear pain; phonophobia (sensitivity to sound); numbness of affected side of face. Testing for Bell’s palsy may include an in-office exam, MRI, CT scan, and/or blood testing. Treatment may range from monitoring to corticosteroid and/or antiviral medications.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have Bell’s Palsy, set up an appointment with your primary care physician, ophthalmologist, or emergent care center. Because symptoms of Bell’s Palsy can be similar to the symptoms of a stroke, early diagnosis is important.

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