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.

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.

Protecting Your Eyes from the Summer Sun

Summer is almost here, bringing warm weather and lots of time spent outdoors in the sun. By now, the importance of protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays has been well documented. Your eyes are very delicate and can be irreparably harmed by sun damage.

Unlike other parts of your body, your eye’s lens will not heal when damaged by the sun’s rays. Cells that are damaged will not regenerate, and over time this damage can result in a variety of serious eye conditions and possibly vision loss.

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays without wearing protective lenses can increase your risk of developing the following conditions:

The sun’s UV rays are three times more powerful in the summer months, dramatically increasing the damage they can cause to your eyes. As a result, you should wear protective eyewear anytime you are outside during daylight hours. This is particularly true if you are outside between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.

It is important to remember that not all sunglasses provide the same level of protection from harmful UV and blue light rays. To ensure optimal levels of protection, make sure you wear sunglasses that:

  • Block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays
  • Block blue light rays
  • Contain large lenses that fit close to your eyes

Remember, sun damage to your eyes has a cumulative effect throughout your life. The best way to reduce this effect is to start wearing good quality sunglasses now.

Please contact eyes.com today to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area.

Sunglasses in the Winter?

Many people associate sunglasses with summer. Time spent outdoors when the sun is closer seems like an ideal time to wear sunglasses to reduce glare, strain, and other discomforts. While it is important to wear sunglasses in the summertime, preventing sun damaged eyes requires diligent use of sunglasses in the winter as well.

UV Rays

In the summer, your eyes are affected by UV rays from above. In the winter, due to glare off of snow, your eyes are affected by UV rays both from above and below. In fact, it is highly possible that up to 85 percent of the UV rays hitting your eyes come from below in the winter. This makes it particularly important for outdoor enthusiasts to wear a high quality and protective pair of sunglasses at all time.

Unprotected eye can get sunburnt. Not only is this painful, it can lead to irreversible damage. In addition, sun damage has been linked to age related eye disorders such as macular degeneration and cataracts, making it important for your long-term visual health that you wear sunglasses at all times when you are outdoors.

If you would like more information on keeping your eyes as healthy as possible, please use the doctor locator at eyes.com to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today.

Protecting Your Eyes From Sun Damage

With summer well on its way and many of us already enjoying warmer, brighter days, it’s easy to forget about the considerable amount of damage the sun can do to our eyes.

Most people take steps to protect their skin from the dangers of UV rays, but your eyes are also at risk of serious long-term damage if they are not adequately protected. UV rays and blue light rays can be dangerous even in the wintertime, but in summer, their harmful effects are three times greater. Exposure to these rays can lead to cataracts, photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea), macular degeneration, and other harmful conditions later in life.

Eye damage caused by the sun will build up over the course of your life. The more you expose your eyes to direct sunlight, the more likely you are to develop permanent damage. While sunglasses are still the best way to protect your eyes, you need to be sure you have sunglasses that provide equal protection from both UV and blue light rays. Sunglasses with large lenses that fit close to your eyes also provide better protection for the area surrounding your eyes, which can be prone to skin cancer.

If you are looking for ways to improve or protect your vision, schedule an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist today by visiting our Eye Doctor Directory.

Here Comes the Sun; Protect Your Eyes from It

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”—Benjamin Franklin

“Don’t look directly into the sun.”—Mom

When it comes to protecting yourself from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light, don’t overlook your eyes.

With summer comes increased time outdoors and extra attention to sunscreen. But UV radiation can be as damaging to your eyes as it is to your skin.

The short-term effects of UV exposure can include photokeratitis, essentially sunburn on your cornea. Although the condition typically subsides on its own, it can be painful. And your mom was right: Staring directly into the sun—even for a brief period—can cause retinal damage.

Progressive exposure to UV light can contribute to additional conditions, including:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Pterygia, a fibrous tissue growth that can spread to the cornea and affect vision
  • Pingueculae, a yellowish lesion that forms near the edge of your cornea

Because there is no treatment to reverse the effects of macular degeneration and cataracts correction requires surgery, prevention is the best remedy for sun-related eye damage. One of the best sources of eye protection is a good pair of sunglasses.

Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to be effective. The two most important factors to consider when choosing sunglasses are:

  • The level of UV protection
  • Aesthetics (you want to buy sunglasses you’ll actually wear)

The most harmful ranges of UV light to the eyes are ultraviolet A (UVA), also known as long wave, and ultraviolet B (UVB), also known as medium wave. Your sunglasses should block at least 98 percent of both UVA and UVB rays, as well as blue light, visible light waves that contribute to glare. Most sunglasses feature a sticker or tag listing the range of protection.

If you have more questions about the sun’s damaging effects to the eyes or need to schedule an eye exam, please contact an ophthalmologist near you.

Eye Safety

The health of your eyes is just as important as the health of any other part of your body, and your eyes are especially vulnerable to injury. This makes eye safety an important concern for everyone. As Dr. Andrew Iwach, spokesperson for the American Academy of Opthamology (AAO) says, “Eyes are delicate and precious… Just a touch of maintenance will keep them going for years.”

Tips to Protect Your Eyes

Your eyes are one of the most important, and sensitive, parts of your body. There are many things you can do to keep your eyes healthy and make sure you really are seeing the world around you. Taking the following measures to protect your eyes can help prolong the health of your eyes so both you and your eyes sustain less strain:

· Wear sunglasses in sports or leisure activities outside – make sure your sunglasses have a 100 percent UV protective coating

· Avoid hazardous lighting – even when you are wearing sunglasses, the sun’s rays can still inflict long-term damage to your eyes. Never stare directly into the sun

· Gently wash your eyes – the skin around your eyes is some of the most delicate on your body. To prevent wrinkles, avoid pulling or scrubbing your skin when washing your eyes or removing makeup.

· Combat eye strain from screens – whether your watching television, working on your computer or reading from an eReader, take frequent breaks, about every 20-30 minutes to avoid eye strain and long-term damage

· Visit your eye doctor regularly – many people visit the eye doctor only when they have difficulty seeing, but your eye doctor can also make sure your eyes stay healthy to prevent future problems. If your family has a history of eye disease, it is especially important to have regular eye check ups.

To learn more about eye safety and tips to teach your family, please consult our Eye Doctor Directory to schedule an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist in your area today.

Protecting your Eyes from the Winter Sun

Winter is rapidly approaching, and in many parts of the country, there will be months of gray skies to look forward to. While the winter months do not bring the intense sunshine experienced during the summer, it is important to remember that your eyes can still suffer considerable sun damage during this time of the year. Therefore, it is important to take the proper steps to protect your eyes from the sun – even as you bundle up during the cold weather.

It is still possible for UV and blue light rays to damage your eyes on overcast days. Exposure to these dangerous rays can increase your risk of developing:

In order to prevent this damage to your eyes, you should continue wearing sunglasses throughout the winter months, even when it seems gray and dreary outside. It is important to remember that not all sunglasses are created equal. To protect your eyes, you should purchase sunglasses that:

  • Block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays
  • Block blue light rays
  • Contain large lenses that rest close to your eyes

While the cheap glasses at your local store may prevent you from squinting, they do not always offer the best protection for your eyes. By investing in a more expensive pair of sunglasses, you can greatly reduce your exposure to the harmful radiation that can cause serious eye damage down the road.

Blue Cross Survey Indicates Many People Are Uninformed Regarding the Importance of Protecting their Eyes from Sun Damage

Atlanta, Georgia – A survey conducted by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia in conjunction with Transitions Optical indicates that many people are unaware of the potential damage the sun can have on their eyes. In particular, people do not realize the long-term dangers posed to children who do not protect their eyes from sun damage.

Approximately 2,500 Americans over the age of 18 were included in this survey. Based on the data, it is clear that many people do not consider the vision risks associated with sun exposure. In fact, the majority of respondents didn’t even identify vision damage as a potential adverse effect of sun exposure. Instead, they focused on issues such as sunburn, skin cancer, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and wrinkles.

Furthermore, very few people were able to identify specific risks associated with sun exposure to the eyes, particularly as it applies to children. In fact only 36% of respondents recognized that UV rays pose a greater danger to children’s vision than to adults’ vision. Additionally, 37% of people surveyed indicated that they regularly did not wear protective eyewear, mainly because they forget to bring it with them.

Based on these findings, it is clear that greater education regarding eyes and sun damage must be achieved in order to promote the proper awareness of the dangers of sun exposure. This is particularly important in light of the fact that long-term UV sun exposure has been linked to conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

In fact, annual healthcare expenditures for eye conditions ($16 billion) is more than double the expenditures for breast cancer (7.2 billion) and more than triple the cost of lung cancer ($5.6 billion). It is also significantly higher than the cost associated with HIV ($9.4 billion).