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Archive for June, 2014

Taking Care of Contacts and Glasses

Thursday, June 26, 2014 @ 09:06 PM
Author: admin

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Whether you need to wear corrective lenses or contacts, regular care is necessary to promote longevity. Both contacts and glasses can be damaged or broken. In the case of contacts, this may not be a terrible ordeal, as these are worn temporarily in most instances. However, if you wear glasses, damaged or broken specs mean a trip to the eye doctors’ for a new pair.

To prevent something like that, you can take the proper precautions and take proper care of your contacts and glasses. If you wear contacts, care differs depending on the kind that you have. There are soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable contact lenses (which have a tougher exterior). Then there are contacts that you throw out and those that you can keep for a longer amount of time, at least for a week but sometimes for up to a month.

If you have disposable contacts, you should never wear them beyond the extended amount of time as recommended on the box. If you have extended-wear contacts, you need to make sure that you also take them out nightly. If you wear them again, you need to clean them. You can typically find contact solution at the grocery store or at your eye doctors’ office. Don’t attempt to use water of any temperature to clean your contacts, as these could lead to the spread of bacteria. Only proper contact solution will clean your contacts properly.

If you forget to clean your extended wear contacts, you may want to skip wearing them again. They can easily attract bacteria which could infect your eyes. If you have any eye condition or an illness of any type (even one that doesn’t affect the eyes), you should switch to disposable contacts and throw these out after daily use. When your body is fighting off infection, bacteria is more likely to spread from your contacts.

However, perhaps you prefer wearing glasses instead. In that case, you need to worry not only about the lenses of the glasses potentially becoming damaged or broken but the frames holding up as well. If you’re an active person, you should not wear your glasses when playing sports. Instead, you may want to talk to your eye doctor about prescription sports goggles that are meant for activity. Whenever you’re not wearing your glasses, you should take them off properly, using both of your hands. This prevents you from tugging at one of the arms and loosening it or accidentally snapping it off.

You also need to place your glasses in a safe area when you’re not wearing them. Your glasses probably came in a hard-shelled case that you picked out at the eye doctors’ office. You should always place your glasses in that protective case when you’re not wearing them. You may want to put the case somewhere out of reach of kids or other people.

In order to keep the frames intact, look out for any loose parts. There are screws that hold together the frames which may unwind over time and need to be screwed back in. If you’ve noticed that the arms of your glasses are looser than usual, this should take care of the problem. If screwing the arms back in place didn’t help, you may want to take your glasses to your eye doctors’ office.

You also need to worry about the lenses of the glasses, which can experience damage in the form of scratching. Always placing your glasses in your hard-shelled case prevents them from coming into contact with other elements when you’re not wearing them. Put them with the arms against the back of the case rather than the lenses against the back of the case. If you need to take off your glasses for a moment and put them somewhere, never put the lenses first.

If you have a smudge or particles on your glasses that you need to wipe off, don’t just use your shirt, pants, or other fabric around you. Instead, use the cleaning cloth that your eye doctor likely gave you with your pair of glasses. This soft cloth will rub away any smudges without damaging the lenses.

By following these guidelines for contacts and glasses care, you will not have to worry about breakage, damage, and potential bacterial infection. As long as you don’t forget any of the above steps, you should be able to wear your contacts without incident, and enjoy your glasses for years ahead.

How to Alleviate the Discomforts of Eye Strain

Thursday, June 19, 2014 @ 08:06 PM
Author: admin

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In today’s technological world where people use screens often, eye strain has become more frequent. However, that’s not the only reason a person’s eyes may feel tired and unable to function like usual. If you go on a long road trip and you’re behind the wheel the whole time, if you work as a truck driver, or if you read for hours on end, you can also experience eye strain.

Most times, eye strain is not a serious medical condition. It doesn’t require intervention by a doctor and typically abates as long as you cease the strain-causing activity for a while. However, that doesn’t mean that eye strain doesn’t sometimes require medical attention if your symptoms get worse or do not disappear after some time.

First though, it helps to understand all sources of eye strain. Not only can staring too long on the road, reading for too long, or using computers or smartphones for too long cause eye strain, but so can other situations. For example, if you read or stare at something for too long in a room with poor lighting, your eyes will have a harder time functioning well. If the room is too bright though, you could also experience discomfort. Glare generated from screens or windows can also cause eye strain.

If you use a computer frequently for work, school, or recreation, this particular type of eye strain has its own particular name called computer vision syndrome. This syndrome isn’t very serious, like most types of eye strain, but it too can cause serious vision problems in some instances.

If your eyes begin straining, you’ll notice a few general symptoms. Your eyes will feel dry and may begin to hurt or itch. Your vision may begin to grow blurry and your eyes may also water. Your back, neck, and shoulders may begin to hurt, and you may notice that you have a headache as well. Other bright lights may make these symptoms worse. The symptoms for computer vision syndrome are generally the same.

However, in some serious instances, you may experience other symptoms. In these cases, it’s best to receive medical attention as soon as possible if these symptoms do not abate in a reasonable amount of time. You may have a strong headache or migraine, itchy or painful eyes, and double vision and other vision issues.

Some factors can make your eye strain worse, such as excessive air conditioning or heater use. If you’re already tired or have already had a long day, it shouldn’t take long for you to experience eye strain. If you already have eye issues such as refractive errors, this also increases your likelihood of developing eye strain.

If you do decide to visit with your doctor, he or she will test you for eye strain through a typical eye examination. You should discuss any factors that may cause your eyes to become uncomfortable, such as long amounts of time at a computer or on the road, long amounts of time spent reading, or possible preexisting eye conditions. Ultimately, if you have another eye condition, your doctor can treat it at this time. He or she may also recommend that you wear prescription lenses to reduce the chance of you developing further eye strain.

Mostly though, you can make most of the changes to prevent eye strain yourself. Take frequent breaks from reading or computer use. If you drive a lot, make rest stops when possible to give your eyes a chance to refocus and rest. Always make sure that you’re in a well-lit room and try to keep the temperatures even if you can. By moving your computer monitor at home and work between 20 and 40 inches from where you sit according to Mayo Clinic, you can reduce the effort your eyes have to make when looking at the screen. You should also try to prevent glare in the room if possible.

You can also buy artificial tears without a prescription if eye strain typically gives you dry eyes. These artificial tears keep your eyes lubricated so that your eyes don’t feel as irritated at the end of the day. You can try massaging your eyelid muscles, Mayo Clinic recommends. Rub your temple, your eyelids, your eyebrow muscles, and your cheek below your eyes using your fingertips for 10 seconds per spot. Try to do this at least once every day.

While eye strain isn’t a long-term threat to your vision, it’s still annoying and can detract from productivity and comfort. By taking the above steps to be proactive about your environment, you can reduce your chances of experiencing eye strain.

 

Understanding Allergic Conjunctivitis

Thursday, June 12, 2014 @ 08:06 PM
Author: admin

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Allergic conjunctivitis is a condition that makes the eyes red, itchy, and possibly watery. This condition occurs when the eyes are exposed to substances like pollen or mould spores. This condition is actually more common than most people realize. as it affects approximately one-fifth of the population. When your eyes get red, itchy, and watery it is just your body’s way of trying to get rid of a substance it considers potentially harmful.

Types of Allergic Conjunctivitis

There are generally two main types of allergic conjunctivitis, acute allergic conjunctivitis and chronic allergic conjunctivitis. These two types have the nearly the same symptoms and are very similar except that the acute version of this condition is short term and the chronic version is more long term.

Acute allergic conjunctivitis is more common of the two and generally occurs during allergy season. The unique symptoms of acute allergic conjunctivitis are swollen eyelids, itchy or burning eyes, and you may also experience a runny nose.

The much less common condition, chronic allergic conjunctivitis is something that can be experienced all year round. This is a response to things like food, dust, or animal dander. The most common symptoms of chronic allergic conjunctivitis are burning and itchy eyes, however, you may also experience some sensitivity to light as well.

What Are The Most Common Causes?

Your body decides that a foreign substance is a threat, so your body reacts in a defensive method which is known as allergic conjunctivitis. Any substance that triggers the release of histamine in the body will create this type of reaction. Histamine is a potent chemical that is naturally produced by your body to fight off any foreign and potentially harmful substances.

Some of the more common substances that cause this type of reaction are household dust, pollen from trees and grass, mould spores, animal dander, or chemical scents such as some detergents or perfume. Some people will also experience allergic conjunctivitis as a reaction to certain medications and such that are dropped into the eyes (like contact lens solution or medicated eye drops).

People who have allergies are much more likely to develop allergic conjunctivitis over time, however, it is more common in children and young adults rather than older people. Generally speaking, if you have allergies, and you live in an area that has a high pollen count, you are much more susceptible to allergic conjunctivitis than someone who does not have allergies or that does not live in such a high pollen area.

How Allergic Conjunctivitis Is Diagnosed

The first step to figuring out if you are dealing with allergic conjunctivitis is to have your eyes examined by your doctor. It is at this time that your eye care professional will likely go over your allergy history with you as well. The visible signs of conjunctivitis are redness in the white of the eye and/or very small bumps inside the eyelid. These little bumps are not something you will be able to see yourself, however, they are very irritating and may annoy you. Your eye care professional will be able to see these bumps with the assistance of the many tools they use during a regular eye exam to magnify the eye.

There are a few tests that your eye care professional may request you to undergo to ensure the condition is what he/she thinks it is. There is an allergy skin test which exposes your skin to specific allergens; consequently, your doctor will be able to examine how your body reacts to certain things. It is important to keep in mind that this test may result in swelling, redness, and some general discomfort.

Your eye care professional may require you to do some bloody tests to see if your body is producing the antibodies it needs to protect itself against specific allergens. The third test you may be asked to do is a scraping of the conjunctiva tissue. This type of test is done to evaluate your white blood cells. All of these tests may or may not be required, however, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the possibilities before jumping into a situation.

Treating Allergic Conjunctivitis the Natural Way

In an attempt to minimize the exposure you have to allergens, a combination of prevention strategies and activities are required. These methods will help to ease your symptoms and help you to get back to your life. If you live in an area with a higher pollen count, you may want to close the windows. Closing your windows will help you to keep the pollen outside where it belongs, outside.

You should try to keep your home as dust-free as possible. Dust is one of those things that never seems to want to let go of a home. You clean it and it returns the next day. If you have allergic conjunctivitis, and you want to ease your symptoms, it is important that you dust every day to avoid any dust build up. Additionally, if you use an indoor air purifier, you can ease the amount of allergens in your air.

Unfortunately, people who are prone to allergic conjunctivitis should avoid exposure to harsh chemicals such as hair dyes, paint, perfumes, or any other strong scent that may affect their condition. Unfortunately, rubbing your eyes will not help this situation. If you rub your eyes you will only make the issue worse. Should the itching and irritation get too much, you can ease some of the swelling and itchiness by placing a cool compress over your eyes for several moments.

Treating Allergic Conjunctivitis with Medication

Sometimes the allergic conjunctivitis is so severe that it is not curable with natural homeopathic remedies. When this is the case, medication may be necessary. Your eye care professional may tell you to take an oral, or over-the counter, antihistamine to reduce (or block) the histamine release within your body.

More commonly, anti-inflammatory eye drops, eye drops to shrink any congested blood vessels are more often used here. In the extremely rare case, steroid eye drops may be recommended. Should your eye care professional prescribe any of this to you, it is a really good idea to ask as many questions as possible and always follow the directions your eye care professional gives you.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

Thursday, June 5, 2014 @ 07:06 PM
Author: admin

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Nobody really likes eye exams. There are plenty of uncomfortable moments, long tests, and poking and prodding. Just like people avoid dentist’s appointments like the plague, they too probably try to put off getting their eyes checked as much as possible. However, just like teeth, eyes need regular examinations.

Unless you’ve just visited very recently, you need to make regular eye exams a part of you and your family’s routine. As you get older, the need for more regular eye exams only increases. Even if you find that your eyes are healthy and you don’t need glasses, or if you have glasses but your prescription hasn’t changed, you shouldn’t just assume that your eye health has stayed the same over the years.

One of the most important reasons why regular eye exams are so necessary is the ability for your eye doctor to catch the beginnings or potential for an eye disease or disorder. Many eye disorders can decrease vision as time goes on, so it’s important to get your vision inspected right away in order to preserve your sight.

Some of these conditions may include cataracts, in which you see clouds or other puffs in your vision that distract you from seeing. A detached retina typically includes symptoms like spots or floaters as well as bright and sudden flashes of light. This is a very serious issue that cannot be ignored if you want to spare your vision. Even if you regularly experience spots or floaters, you may want to get these checked out. A macular hole typically afflicts those that are older. Glaucoma attacks your eye’s optic nerve, a central component to vision. Macular degeneration can either detract from your vision quickly or more slowly over time.

The above eye disorders and diseases are all serious conditions that necessitate immediate care. Some of them, like a macular holes or detached retina, are considered emergency situations. While all of the above conditions are scary to think about, a lot of them can begin subtly. By getting regular eye exams, you can catch some of them early and nip the problem in the bud.

If you have children, it’s especially important that you stay on-the-ball in regards to regular eye examinations. Children’s vision needs can change rather frequently, enough so that one year they may not need glasses but they will the next year. Vision problems can lead to an unhappy child, and one that has issues with concentrating on tasks like reading. As the parent, it’s your job to realize that a vision issue may be at play and get them to an eye doctor.

Once you turn 40 years or older, you also need to begin getting your eyes checked much more regularly. Many eye disorders and diseases tend to afflict those that are older, between 40 and 60 years or more. Your glasses prescription may change as you get older as well.

By visiting the eye doctor as a family, you save time over booking separate appointments. You can also possibly get a discount at some eye doctors’ offices. During your appointment, the eye doctor will check for a number of potential conditions and diseases. They’ll test for astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness, also known as refractive errors. You’ll receive a test to check if your eyes are properly aligned or if you have binocular vision, a misalignment that causes issues when you try to concentrate or read.

You’ll also get tests for amblyopia, when your two eyes act differently rather than in accordance with one another, as well as strabismus, or a case of cross-eyes. Lastly, your eye doctor will also screen you for the eye diseases and disorders mentioned above.

It’s important to understand the difference between an exam from an eye doctor and a vision screening. Vision screenings do indeed test for the wellness of your vision, but they are considered to be much more limited compared to full examinations. An eye doctor does not have to perform these tests either, and they can be administered by a pediatrician for your child or even at the local driving center during driver’s license renewal.

The best that these tests can do is prove that you need to book an appointment with your eye doctor for further testing and an official diagnosis. These tests are helpful to a point but should not be considered an actual eye exam. Therefore, if you’ve had a vision screening recently but not an eye examination, you can and should book that eye exam. Vision screenings do not replace regular eye exams.

The reasons are endless why regular eye exams for your entire family can lead to better health. If you haven’t already, book an appointment at your local eye doctors’ office today.