New iPad Vision Test

Vision Test, a free app created by 3 Cube, gives iPad users a new way to test their vision. No matter if you suspect you need something simple such as glasses or LASIK, or if you are concerned about larger issues such as age-related macular degeneration, Vision Test can provide a series of tests and questions that can help you determine if it may be time to see an eye doctor.

This new app provides a visual acuity test, a Duochrome test, an astigmatism test, and tests for far field vision and color recognition. While these tests cannot compete with the services of an experienced ophthalmologist, they may prompt people who did not know they could benefit from professional eye care to seek advice following abnormal or unsatisfactory test results. The app is free, but currently only available to users of the iPad.

When to See an Ophthalmologist

It is true that we live in an age where technology places significantly more power in our hands. However, it is important to remember that self-diagnosing is never a good idea and professional assistance should be sought at the first sign of vision troubles.

Maintaining regularly scheduled appointments with your eye doctor remains the best way to check your vision and identify small problems before they result in serious vision disruptions, and you should be certain to contact your eye doctor if you notice changes in your vision, experience eye pain, or are suddenly beset by any vision troubles.

If you are overdue for a regular vision exam, don’t rely on an app for medical advice, please use our eye doctor locator to find an ophthalmologist in your area and schedule an appointment today.

Summer Foods for Optimal Vision

Just like the rest of your body, your eyes require specific nutrients for optimal function. While it is perfectly acceptable to take nutritional supplements to help reduce your risk for a number of vision disorders, many of these nutrients, such as antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, and E, and myriad minerals can easily be found in some of summer’s most delicious foods.

Best Summer Foods for Eye Nutrition

During the summer months, many fruits and vegetables are at peak freshness and simply bursting with vital nutrients for your eyes. Better yet, these foods are both easily accessible and often less expensive during the summer months, allowing you to protect your eyes and eat a healthy and delicious diet without breaking the bank.

Some of the best summer foods for your eyes are:

  • Spinach – loaded with carotenoids, spinach can help reduce your risk for age related macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Berries – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries all contain high concentrations of antioxidants, making them ideal for reducing your risk for a number of vision problems and also lowering your risk for certain cardiovascular diseases
  • Bell peppers – high in vitamin C and the best dietary source of zeaxanthin, bell peppers can help lower your risk for cataracts
  • Broccoli – by activating anti-inflammatory enzymes in the body, broccoli can help relieve  pressure in the eye and reduce your risk for various vision-stealing conditions

As the seasons change, you can adapt your diet to other foods that can help protect vision. For example, in the fall, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots can all play a vital role in eye nutrition. Your ophthalmologist can discuss this with you in more detail during your regularly scheduled appointments.

To learn more about proper eye nutrition, please find an ophthalmologist in your area to schedule an appointment today.

Baseball and Protective Eyewear

The summer is upon us and that means it’s time for amateur and recreational baseball leagues to take to the field. This popular summer sport can be incredibly fun and even help build strong communities, but it can also be dangerous for your eyes.

Sports-related eye injuries, such as those caused by trauma from baseballs, can lead to a number of vision problems. There are an estimated 400,000 sports-related eye injuries in the United States every year, many of which will lead to a complete loss of vision in the impacted eye. The best way to enjoy your sport while still protecting your vision is by making sure to wear protective sports eyewear at all times when on the field.

Choosing the Right Eyewear

The best sports eyewear should fit snugly and be designed to protect against impact. Your ophthalmologist will be able to provide you with a personal fitting, allowing you to find the type of sports goggles best suited to meet your particular needs.

By seeing an ophthalmologist for protective sports eyewear, you can also have your frames fitted with prescription lenses or lenses that provide broad spectrum UV protection, further protecting your eyes and enhancing your performance on the field.

To learn more about protective sports eyewear, please use the eye doctor locator at eyes.com to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today.

Chlorine and Your Eyes

Chlorine is a sanitizing agent used in swimming pools to prevent algae and to kill bacteria. While this is fantastic for your general health, chlorine can temporarily harm your eyes and, as we enter the summer months, knowing how to protect your vision against chlorine becomes increasingly important.

Goggles are a type of protective sports eyewear that can keep chlorine out of your eyes and help prevent irritation. This one of those situations in which paying a little extra up front can help reduce long-term issues down the road. Cheap goggles are often ill-fitting or completely ineffective, making it well worth the few extra dollars to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

Long-Term Effects of Chlorine on Eyes

The effects of chlorine on eyes is generally not permanent. However, excessive chlorine exposure can lead to myriad other health conditions including respiratory problems and even certain types of cancer.

Before you go swimming in a public or private pool, make sure you trust those responsible for its upkeep. When used correctly, chlorine can help keep swimmers safe without any adverse health risks.

To learn more about protecting your eyes during the summer months, please use the eye doctor locator at eyes.com to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area.

Computer Games May Improve Children’s Eyesight

Researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, are working with WESC, one of the UK’s largest schools for visually impaired children, to evaluate the effectiveness of visual search rehabilitation video games on repairing eyesight.

According to Timothy Hodgson, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, visual search rehabilitation has led to “significant recovery of sight following damage to visual centers of the brain in adults.” However, he adds, these methods have proven “too boring to use with children.” It is his hope that these new games will work to reverse childhood cerebral visual impairment in much the same way as traditional visual search rehabilitation has worked on adults.

Signs of Visual Impairment in Children

Early eye development is essential for long-term visual acuity. Signs that your child may be suffering from a vision disorder include:

  • Eyes that are misaligned
  • Eyes that bulge
  • A complaint of eye pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Problems focusing
  • Eye fluttering or uncontrolled movement
  • A diagnosis of ADHD

If your child is suffering from any of these things, you should schedule an eye exam with an experienced pediatric ophthalmologist to determine the most effective course of action.

If you would like to schedule an eye exam for your child, please use our Eye Doctor Locator to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today.

Reducing Nearsightedness in Children

Nearsightedness (myopia) in children is often treatable, but it may also be linked to more severe forms of the eye disorder in adulthood. With a recent increase in this common eye disorder, researchers have set out to find if environmental factors could play a role. Two new studies, one in Taiwan and one in Denmark, may have found that link.

The Taiwanese study found that children who spent at least 80 minutes a day outdoors were less likely to develop nearsightedness, suggesting the act of being outdoors alone played a role in reducing the risk of childhood myopia. The Danish study took things a step further, monitoring the amount of time children spent in direct sunlight and found, unequivocally, that children who spent more time exposed to sunlight were less likely to develop myopia.

Time Outdoors

Time outdoors is essential for the physical and emotional development of children, and is now linked to a lower chance of nearsightedness. However, it is important to remember that sun exposure can harm vision as well.

To help you child receive the benefits of being outdoors without the risks of sun exposure and eye damage, make sure to outfit them with high quality sunglasses purchased from an experienced ophthalmologist. While there, talk to your ophthalmologist about vision screening for your child to help ensure optimal vision under any conditions.

To learn more about protecting your children’s eyes, please contact an eye doctor in your area today.

Identifying the Gene Mutations that Cause Myopia

Researchers at Duke Medicine believe they have found the gene mutations that cause the common eye disorder myopia (nearsightedness). The Researchers have discovered that when the genes that regulate copper and oxygen in eye tissue mutate, they can result in high-grade myopia, a condition that has been linked to an increased risk for issues such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Cataracts

These findings, however preliminary, are paving the way for future research into copper deficiency and its link to high-grade myopia. Researchers are hoping to find a link that will enable them to help prevent serious disorders by addressing copper deficiency rather than necessitating more invasive procedures.

Protecting Your Eyes

High-grade myopia effects only two percent of the population, but myopia itself is the most common eye disorder in the United States. While there is no cure for myopia, it can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, and often through surgical procedures such as LASIK and PRK.

If you suffer from myopia and are interested in learning more about your options, talk to your ophthalmologist to find the solution that is best suited to meet your particular needs.

To find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area, please visit our Eye Doctor Directory today.

Protect Your Eyes from the Summer Sun

As we enter the sunny summer months, it is time once again to consider the impact of sun damage to the eyes and the most effective ways to protect your vision well into the future. Excessive unprotected exposure to sunlight can result in painful and damaging burns to your cornea. It has also been identified as a risk factor for things including:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Pterygia

The best way to avoid the harmful effects on the sun on eyesight is by wearing protective glasses at all times when outside.

Skimping is a Bad Idea

Cheap sunglasses are available at nearly every gas station and grocery store in the country. Many of these discount brands are cost effective, but despite their claims of “broad UVA/UVB protection,” they may actually do more harm than good.

Your pupils dilate in lower-light conditions, allowing more sunlight to enter into the inner chambers of your eyes. Discount sunglasses make things darker, but often fail to live up to their claims of UV protection, allowing harmful rays of light to penetrate deep into your lens and retina.

Sunglasses purchased through an eye doctor may seem more expensive, but their quality and protection far outweigh their initial costs. When it comes to protecting your eyes from sun damage, you deserve the most effective option available.

If you are looking for the latest sunglasses styles to protect your eyes this summer, please visit our Eye Doctor Directory to find a well-stocked ophthalmologist in your area today.

Finding a Cure for Macular Degeneration

New research being conducted at the Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that macular degeneration and atherosclerosis may share a common link, and therefore a common cure.

The study, conducted on both mice and human stem cells, has been published in the online journal Cell Metabolism. According to the study, deposits of cholesterol contribute to macular degeneration in much the same way as atherosclerosis which may suggest that medications that prevent the buildup of lipids could be administered via eye drops as an effective tool in the treatment of this vision disorder.

Senior investigator Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD states that, “Inflammation creates a toxic mix of things that leads to new blood vessel growth. Most of the vision loss from ‘wet’ macular degeneration is the result of bleeding and scar-tissue formation related to abnormal vessel growth.” Researchers hope to be able to reverse these effects through the use of eye drops and other systemic treatments. Clinical trials on humans have not yet begun.

About Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an age related condition marked by the deterioration of the macula. Macular degeneration results in a gradual loss of vision with symptoms including difficulties adapting to lower light levels, fuzzy or distorted vision, and shadowy areas in the central vision field.

There is no treatment for macular degeneration, but some things such as dietary changes can help slow its progression. The best way to detect macular degeneration in its earliest stages and begin to slow its progression is through frequent eye examinations.

If you are over the age of 45, your risk for macular degeneration is already higher. Please contact an eye doctor in your area to schedule an eye exam today.

Glaucoma as a Neurological Disorder

Jeffrey L. Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute has posited a new theory about glaucoma that may help researchers better understand this incurable eye disease. In a review published in Ophthalmology, Dr. Goldberg discusses new clinical trials that look at and treat glaucoma as a neurological disorder similar to Alzheimer’s, a theory that is based on the fact that this eye disease is a result of damage to the optic nerve.

The new research focuses on retinal ganglion cells which connect the eyes to the brain via the optic nerve. These cells are essential for proper vision, but have not been the focus of previous research or treatments for glaucoma. Using medications similar to those for other neurological disorders, the researchers hope to not only find a treatment for glaucoma, but a cure as well.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Glaucoma can be asymptomatic until it is too late, making it important to know the risk factors and take proper precautions such as frequent eye exams. Some of the risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Being over the age of 60
  • Being of African or Hispanic descent
  • Use of steroid medications
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a family history of the disease

Even if you are not at a higher risk for glaucoma, seeing your ophthalmologist every year after the age of 60 remains the most effective way to prevent complete vision loss due to various eye diseases and conditions.

Please use our directory to find an ophthalmologist in your area to schedule a glaucoma screening today.