Designer Eyeglass Frames Provider Continues Its Health Tips Series
Here are the final five eye health awareness tips in our miniseries!11. Children and Eye Problems
Because eyes change as children grow, eye tests are especially important year by year. Myopia may develop without the child or the parent noticing it, and a child who had 20/20 vision at age six may not be able to read the class whiteboard at age twelve. Farsightedness can interfere with reading a book, making reading glasses necessary. A child with astigmatism will have trouble seeing clearly both near and far. Since vision problems are often worse in one eye than the other, delaying corrective eyeglasses can result in one eye becoming dominant, while the “lazy eye” loses its ability to send a clear image to the brain. The same is true in the case of crossed eyes or a “walleye.” Children don’t outgrow these conditions, but instead lose the proper use of one eye if the problem is not corrected under the care of an ophthalmologist (see next week’s blog on the different types of eye-care specialists).
An interesting 2012 study published in the medical journal Lancet suggests that too much time indoors can cause children to become myopic. In trying to find the reason for skyrocketing rates of myopia among children in East Asia, the researchers traced the development to an excess of indoor studying. They noted that the bright light of day is needed to induce production of the retinal transmitter dopamine, which prevents elongation of the eyeball. An elongated eyeball is myopic. The beneficial light is not ultraviolet, but full-spectrum sunlight. So here’s a new reason to encourage children to get outside and play.12. Cataracts Can Go Now
A cataract is a clumping of proteins on the eye’s lens. The cataract grows slowly and leads to cloudy, discolored, or blurred vision. If it gets bad enough, the lens can be surgically removed and replaced with an artificial lens, saving the person’s eyesight. You may know someone who had cataract surgery some years ago and had to wait until the cataract had reached an advanced stage. This precaution is no longer necessary, and a cataract may now be removed as soon as it has begun to interfere with good vision. Remember that use of sunglasses is one way to help prevent cataracts.
You may have tried on a friend’s glasses and noticed a sort of swimmy feeling from the difference in the prescription compared to what you’re used to. A common misconception is that you need to take those glasses off quickly to avoid damaging your own eyesight. In reality, while you may develop a headache, your eyes won’t be harmed, and if you had to borrow those glasses for a while, the swimmy feeling would go away. In fact, new eyeglass wearers or people trying bifocals for the first time often take time to get used to the correction even though it is perfectly suited to their own needs.14. Contact Lenses Are No Cure For Myopia
Just as eyes don’t get ruined by use of the wrong prescription, they don’t get fixed by the right one. Contrary to rumor, contact lenses won’t cause the lens to permanently change its shape or improve its ability to focus. Except in the cases mentioned above about children and “lazy eye,” eyeglasses and contacts help only as long as you’re wearing them.15. Visual Impairment and Learning Disabilities Aren’t Related
Children with impaired vision may fall behind their classmates because they can’t read the board or their books. This has led to the misconception that these children have a developmental or learning disability resulting from the vision problem. However, evidence is against this supposition. While there is nothing to prevent, for example, a dyslexic person from also having myopia, the two problems are unrelated and need to be addressed separately. Any time a child struggles in school, vision, hearing, and cognition should all be assessed.
Great Looking Reading Glasses Are Just A Click Away!
Incorporate the health awareness tips outlined in this series to care for your eyesight. If you need quality reading glasses - or bifocal sunglasses - take a look at the selection we have to offer at http://www.ihearteyewear.com today!
Continuing our theme from our last blog post, here are five more eye-opening facts about taking care of your vision.
6. Irritated Eyes Need Attention
Irritated eyes may signal an infection. Home treatment with eye drops may help a very short-term irritation, but do not ignore the problem if it continues past the first dose. Of particular concern is the use of steroid eye drops, which may relieve discomfort and redness but can mask symptoms of a problem that threatens your eyes. Be very careful, take eye discomfort seriously, and call your doctor right away.
Pinkeye is a common eye infection that usually clears up quickly on its own or with appropriate treatment. But be aware that the disease can be bacterial or viral, and the wrong treatment can spell serious problems that damage your vision. A simple test will tell the difference and ensure you receive the proper care.
While we are on the subject of infections, we should mention that sleeping in extended-wear contacts increases your chances of infection tenfold. Take them out before bed!
7. Eyes That Are Not Irritated Need Consideration, Too
Some eye diseases are not accompanied by irritation; some have no symptoms until they reach an advanced stage. A yearly exam by an ophthalmologist is necessary to screen for eye diseases, some of which, including glaucoma and macular degeneration, can blind you. A traumatic blow to your head can also result in vision loss, so if you have been injured, be alert for vision problems that suggest that you need to see a doctor. Some illnesses are associated with higher risk for eye problems. For example, hypertensive retinopathy, which occurs in people with high blood pressure, can cause blindness. This is why your eye doctor may ask you questions about your overall health.
8. Eyeglasses Are Not Addictive
People diagnosed with myopia or other correctable vision problems sometimes hesitate to get glasses out of a fear of becoming dependent upon eyeglasses. This is a misconception. If you need glasses, they help you see better until you take them off, and then you see just as badly as before, but not worse. This holds true for all types of corrective lenses: reading glasses, distance glasses, and glasses for astigmatism.
9. “Don’t Look at the Sun, You’ll Go Blind!”
You have heard this advice, and you have probably noticed that looking naked-eye toward the sun briefly, as happens in the normal course of things (admiring a sunset, or driving west in the evening), won’t blind you. This is because your pupils contract to keep most of the light out. But two ways of looking at the sun can and do cause blindness. The first is with magnification: viewing the sun through binoculars or a telescope is very dangerous, as the lens concentrates the sun’s light. Never look at the sun through a telescope without highly specialized sun filters, and be very careful with binoculars to keep your view away from the sun.
Another sun danger is looking at a partial eclipse through an inadequate filter. People lose their sight by looking at eclipses through dark glass or other materials that seem safe because they screen much of the visible light—but they let in UV light, which you can’t see. NASA warns that sunglasses do not make eclipse viewing safe!
Unsafe filters include color film, some non-silver black and white film, medical x-ray films with images on them, smoked glass, photographic neutral density filters, and polarizing filters. Solar filters designed to thread into eyepieces (which are often sold with inexpensive telescopes) are also dangerous.
10. Keep Your Specs Spic and Span
The little eyeglass cloth that comes with new eyeglasses is not just handy; it is the best cloth to use. If you do not have it nearby when you need to wipe your glasses clean, by no means use a napkin or paper towel, which will scratch the coatings and potentially the lens itself. Any microfiber cloth will do a great job and avoid scratches. A drop of dish soap with warm running water also works wonders.
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