The macula is the central part of your eye’s retina, and it allows you to have clear, sharp vision. Macular degeneration, which is also referred to as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a condition that causes you to lose your central vision. With AMD, even though you’ll still have peripheral vision, your ability to see what is in front of you will be impacted. And this can make everyday tasks like recognizing faces, reading, and driving, pretty much impossible. read more
Eye Health Articles
Eye Injury Prevention
Eye injuries are surprisingly common. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, roughly 2.5 million people suffer these injuries each year. Many of them occur at home, as well as while playing sports. And the scariest part is that an eye injury can lead to vision impairment or blindness. How can you reduce the odds of harming your eyes? Below is a list of tips that you can implement into your daily life when performing a variety of tasks that may put you at risk of hurting yourself. Wearing Protective Eyewear Is Simple Yet Effective One of the easiest things that you can do to avoid eye injuries is wear gear that will provide protection on all sides of your peepers. Yes, it’s that simple! There are so many scenarios in which wearing protective eyewear can be super helpful. Here are some examples: when you’re working on your car in the garage, when you’re gardening, and when you’re doing anything that might cause dust or objects to get into your eyes. Safety goggles can come in really handy when you’re using cleaning products around the house, or when you’re using any chemicals, detergents, or other substances that might splash into your eyes by accident, causing harm. When you’re playing sports, it’s a great idea to use protective eyewear that boasts the ASTM F803 designation. This indicates that the product is designed to help protect the eyes during various activities, such as basketball, soccer, baseball, and tennis. But, wait, won’t regular prescription eyeglasses, or maybe even sunglasses, protect you? Put simply, no, they aren’t designed to give you the level of protection that you need to keep your eyes as safe as possible. Plus, if you’re ever hit in the eyes with a large object, your glasses might even cause a more serious injury. Ouch! Pro tip: If you need to wear prescription eyeglasses, and you don’t wear contact lenses, you can simply purchase protective eyewear that’s designed to fit over your glasses. Or, with the right vision insurance, you might be able to get your hands on high-quality, affordable prescription safety glasses! Protect Your Eyes in Your Home and in Your Own Backyard Here are some of the activities during which protective eyewear is recommended when working around the house or in your yard: When you’re cleaning and disinfecting with harsh products, such as bleach and chemical-based supplies (when using a spray bottle, be sure you spray away from your face). When you’re mowing the lawn, removing leaves, and pruning plants. When you’re using pesticides or fertilizers in your garden, even if they are natural. When you’re cooking and there’s a risk of hot oil splattering and getting into your eyes. When you’re using household items, like rubber bands and wire hangers, that can accidentally hit you in the eye and cause harm. Protect Your Eyes While You’re Working Let’s not forget that eye injuries can also occur in the workplace, and these can result in serious damage, such as permanent loss of vision. If you work in an environment that exposes you to chemicals, if you use tools, or if there’s the risk of being hit in the eye with objects like glass, dust, or metal, always wear the appropriate protective gear to help reduce the risk of harm. Examples include face shields, goggles, welding helmets, and full-face respirators. Take Action Right Away If You Injure Your Eyes! You can’t always prevent accidents, even when you do your best to protect yourself. If you end up hurting an eye, see a doctor or ophthalmologist right away, as this isn’t something that you should try treating on your own at home. Even if the injury appears to be minor or you don’t have symptoms, see a medical professional ASAP because some problems, such as increased pressure or retinal tears, might not be obvious at first. After calling your doctor to let them know about your injury, you may be told to avoid touching your eye. And if there’s an object in the eye, you might be told to leave it alone until you get to the doctor. Also, wait until you’re given instructions before using any medications. And, when appropriate, flush your eye with water if a substance, such as a cleaner, got into it (read product labels carefully to be sure this is what you should do). Your eyes are delicate, so take care of them, not only by seeing your eye doctor for checkups, but also by protecting your peepers during everyday activities that might lead to injuries. Sources: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/preventing-eye-injuries https://www.theeyeclinic.net/2018/10/03/eye-injury-prevention/ https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/eye-injury/art-20047121 https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/preventing-injuries https://preventblindness.org/eye-safety-at-home/ https://preventblindness.org/preventing-eye-injuries/#1585701895414-4712076d-209f https://www.rx-safety.com/2019/12/what-does-the-eyewear-designation-astm-f803-stand-for-and-why-is-it-important/ https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries
Diabetic Eye Disease: What Is It?
Did you know that diabetes can lead to eye problems, and it can even potentially cause blindness? Scary, but true—and yet another reason why it’s so important to control your blood sugar if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Below is a brief look at what diabetic eye disease is, and how you can protect your peepers so you can continue seeing clearly. Diabetic Eye Disease: Multiple Conditions That Can Affect Your Vision Diabetic eye disease isn’t a single condition. Instead, it’s a group of conditions that can affect the health of your eyes and take their toll on your vision when you have diabetes. Glaucoma – Diabetes causes your risk of developing glaucoma to double. There are different types of glaucoma, which may lead to excessive pressure in the eye. It can affect your vision, and it might even cause blindness if you don’t treat it. Your doctor might recommend medications, drops, laser treatments, or surgical procedures to resolve this problem. Cataracts – This condition affects the lens of the eye, causing it to become cloudy, and causing your vision to suffer as a result. Although this problem can occur with age, diabetics are at an increased risk of developing cataracts, and of being diagnosed at a younger age. In terms of treatment, there is a surgery to replace the lens. Diabetic retinopathy – This condition can result in vision problems because of damaged blood vessels. It’s the most common cause of loss of vision in diabetics, and it affects roughly one in every three diabetics who are older than 40. Treatment options include injections, laser treatment, and surgery. Diabetic macular edema – This problem can occur as a complication of diabetic retinopathy. When fluid leaks into the macula, it can lead to swelling that results in vision loss, and it may lead to blindness. Treatment options include injections, medications, and laser surgery. Wait, How Is It Possible That Diabetes Affects the Eyes? By now, you might be wondering how your blood sugar could possibly affect your eyes and vision. Put simply, when your blood sugar is too high, your vision may become blurry because of changes in fluid levels in the eyes, or because of swelling in the eyes. The good news is that this blurriness might go away on its own once you get your blood sugar back down to normal. If you don’t get your blood sugar under control, however, and it remains high for too long, the blood vessels in the eyes may become damaged, leading to other problems, such as swelling, pressure, and scarring. How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease Because diabetes is a condition that can affect the health of your eyes, it’s wise to take steps daily to control it. 1. Consult with your doctor to learn about the ways you can effectively manage your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. If these are high, and you aren’t treating these problems, your risk of diabetic eye disease is likely to increase. 2. Have your eyes and vision examined on a regular basis, such as once a year. This is imperative because you won’t always experience obvious symptoms even though damage is occurring. Your eye doctor can dilate your eyes, as well as use various tools, to determine the health of your retina, the pressure in your eyes, and more. Catching problems in their earliest stages, and treating them right away, is best. 3. Establish healthier lifestyle habits. For example, if you can improve the way you eat, go for it! If you smoke, it’s a great idea to quit, especially since it’s capable of boosting the risk of diabetic eye disease. And if you aren’t active, diving into a strong workout routine is also smart. Take Great Care of Your Eyes! In addition to working with your physician to learn about the many ways to keep your blood sugar stable, it’s also necessary to see an eye doctor regularly when you have diabetes. And, with the right vision insurance, you’ll be able to afford trips to your favorite eye care professional who can examine your vision and prescribe glasses or contacts so you can see clearly. The bottom line is this: whether or not you have diabetes, it’s necessary to take excellent care of your eyes in order to preserve your vision. But if you do have diabetes, you need to take extra steps to ensure you’re managing the condition daily. Just remember, your blood sugar can affect your vision. So, by keeping your blood sugar in check, you’ll also be working on keeping your eyes as healthy as possible. Sources: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-eye-disease https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-eye-problems https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/diabetic-eye-disease https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/diabetic-retinopathy https://preventblindness.org/diabetic-macular-edema-dme/ https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/diabetic-macular-edema-treatment#1 https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/eye-complications