Tips For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy This Winter

1. Protect Against the Sun

You might have already put away your sunglasses for next summer but they should be worn all year around. Snow and ice reflects the sun’s UV rays whether you are walking around, skiing or driving. Over exposure to UV rays over a long time can put your eyes at risk from such diseases as age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Also, glare caused by the sun on icy roads can make it harder to see, so you should also make sure you have a pair of sunglasses handy in your car and these should be prescription sunglasses if you wear prescription glasses. Make sure you have regular checks with an eye doctor or eye clinic to keep your glasses and sunglasses up to date.

2. Humidify

During the winter months, the air is dryer and the humidity in your home can drop. This dryness can cause your eyes to become dry, or dryer if you already suffer with a dry eye disease. A good way to combat this dry air to is use a humidifier in your home.

3. Keep Hydrated

Even a slight bit of dehydration can impact on the dryness of the eyes and during the winter months the cold can change the body’s thirst cycle and central heating can dry the eyes out even more. Try to increase your fluid intake by drinking water, soup, decaffeinated teas and even eating more fruits and vegetables with a high-water content.

4. Don’t Dry Your Eyes

There are a lot of things you may do in winter that dry out your eyes and these things can be avoided. Try to reduce the high temperate of your central heating if possible, having high heat can cause your tears to evaporate more quickly. Also, if you use a blower heater, such as in the car, try to direct the airflow away from your face or try to warm up using a seat warmer for example. Having dry heat blowing directly in your eyes severely dries them out unnecessary. When you are in a dry environment that you are unable to change the temperate of, such as in an office, make sure you blink plenty to keep your eyes lubricated and use artificial tears if needed. Your ophthalmologist can advise what type of artificial tears are better for you.

5. Watering Eyes?

Many people in the winter months suffer from watering eyes, this can be due to the cold and windy environment. If you go outside and it is very cold and/or windy wear some protective glasses to help and if it is sunny too your sunglasses will help with the cold and wind. For some people over watering eyes can be a symptom of an infection or blocked tear duct, so if you do have any concerns get an appointment at your local eye clinic.

6. Feeling Tired?

In the winter months, there is less natural light which can make certain activities harder, such as reading and writing. This can cause eyestrain which in turn can make your eyes feel tired quicker than normal. If you do find your eyes struggling in low light conditions you could get a lamp and put it close to you while you are carrying out those activities, and always wear glasses if you have been advised to do so by your eye doctor or clinic

The Smart Contact Lens Bubble

New technology is being created faster and faster these days. The rapid pace of development in the tech sector is changing the world around us in fantastic ways, connecting all aspects of our lives through tiny gadgets. In less than ten years we’ve seen the release of the first smart watch, the IPhone, the first smart TV and internet connected cars among many innovations. The internet of things, as it has become to be called, is only in its infancy, but tech companies are trying to find new and imaginative ways to integrate the World Wide Web into our lives. Our clothing, think of the self-drying coat and self-tying shoes from Back to the future 2, our kitchen appliances, refrigerators that tell you what food and when you need to buy it, and even our books, have become internet connected. The newest gizmo in the internet of things that is soon to be released is the smart contact lens.

Sony, Samsung, Google and a few lesser known companies have all filed patents in the last couple of years in a race to be the first to bring the lenses to the market for consumer purchase. Each company seems to have focused on a different issue. Each one encompasses a unique feature, such as taking photos, augmented reality or addressing health concerns, while other features are ubiquitous to all the manufacturers’ lenses.

Sony was recently awarded a patent in April of 2016 for a smart contact lens that will take photos and videos of what the wearer is seeing. The lens can do most of what a camera can do. Just like a camera it is capable of autofocus, exposure adjustment and zooming. The patent lays out the lenses ability to calibrate the camera with a wearers blink. Want to take a photo? Just blink three times really fast. Want to take a video? Just squint really hard for three seconds. The contact also uses an electroluminescence display screen to playback recorded content. You can do all this without ever looking at your smartphone, but just by looking straight ahead. All of the registered content can then be wirelessly transferred to your smart phone or computer for later viewing.

Samsung was also given a patent in April 2016 in South Korea for its own smart contact lens. The Samsung lens will take photos and videos just like the Sony lens, however it will also have imbedded augmented reality. With a built in display that projects images directly into the wearers’ eye, the Samsung smart contact lenses will have the ability to superimpose computer generated images onto the real world, all while being less visible when worn. If you are curious what the restaurant across the street serves simply look at the front of the building and the menu will appear across your field of vision. Look down the street to see who has the best gas prices and little speech bubbles will pop out from the curb with the amount per gallon inside. Say you’re on a blind date and want to find out more about the person sitting across from you. You can check their Facebook page without ever having to leave the table or pull out your phone. Imagine having the ability to read a foreign language without ever having taken classes, or being able to navigate a place you’ve never been to effortlessly. The applications for this are endless.

Not The Smokey Eyes You’re Looking For

Working in the contact lens industry I’ve read a lot of horror stories about people who don’t follow proper contact lens care directions and end up with gruesome results. Your eyes are the only organs that get their oxygen from their surroundings rather than from your body. When you smoke you pollute your environment and cause your eyes problems from the lack of oxygen. Every smoker has felt the sting of smoke in their eyes. When you wear contacts it compounds the inflammation, soreness, dry eyes and irritability. Plus when you smoke it not only leaves tar and nicotine on your fingers, but also on your contact lenses themselves causing a litany of issues which I will lay out below.

The CDC estimates the United States alone has roughly 480,000 deaths a year attributed to smoking. That’s half a million people that die each year from a preventable habit! The health risks associated with smoking are well known and numerous: Lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, a reduction in my overall life expectancy are just several of the dozens of concerns detrimental to my long term liveliness. This number does not take into account those people who are still alive and suffering from the adverse effects of smoking. More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every person who dies because of smoking another 30 live with a serious smoking related illness.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) starts as a loss of central vision and makes it harder to read or see fine details in things. Smoking increases the severity and triples the risk of this disease, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. There are two types of AMD, �dry� and �wet�, with dry being the most common. Dry AMD causes fatty deposits to form in the back of the eye behind your retina, with vision getting worse slowly over time. Wet AMD causes tiny blood vessels to leak or break open, which in turn causes scar tissue to develop. Wet AMD is less common, but more quickly to produce harmful vision results.

Glaucoma is the gradual breakdown of the optic nerve cells that sends visual information to your brain. As the cells die, your vision slowly begins to deteriorate, usually starting with your peripheral vision. This is often not noticeable until a significant amount of nerve damage has occurred. Due to this, almost half the people who have glaucoma may not be aware they have it. There are two types of Glaucoma: Primary open-angle Glaucoma and acute angle closure Glaucoma. The former is the most common type, which by the time you are aware of it, can have already caused significant vision loss. The latter form of Glaucoma is less common, but can come on more rapidly due to increased pressure on the inside of the eye. Symptoms can include: eye pain, nausea, red eye, seeing colored rings around lights and blurry vision. Smoking can significantly increase the risk of developing open-angle Glaucoma, which can lead to blindness. Unfortunately, presently there is no cure for this horrible disease.

Don’t Ignore Retinitis Pigmentosa

Understanding The Problem

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a rare eye condition which is usually genetic. Although it is not very common, around 1 in 4,000 people around the world suffer from it. Since the condition is not so well known, it is tough to diagnose it at an early stage without the assistance of a reputed eye doctor. It is caused when the cells present in the retina start to breakdown. This creates a peripheral vision and makes it difficult for people who suffer from this condition to see clearly at night.

It Affects The Vision

There are a number of stages of retinitis pigmentosa and although there are a number of effective solutions for retinitis pigmentosa treatment in India, it is essential to get to the root of the problem in the early stages. Retinitis pigmentosa affects the cells in the eyes and this causes the rods in the retina to die. These rods in the eyes breakdown and it cause a tunnel vision. In the initial stages this condition causes disruptions with reading, driving, walking and recognizing faces and objects at a distance as well as in close proximity. When ignored, retinitis pigmentosa also causes the cones in the eyes die and it can become difficult to walk without support.

Causes

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a very harmful disorder that causes harmful changes that affect the genes. These genes are responsible for creating proteins that help the cells present in the retina. These cells are called photoreceptors. The changes caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa affects the genes making them unable to make the protein and thereby limiting the functionality of the cells. Sometimes the mutation caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa causes a toxic protein that affect the cell. This damages the photoreceptors beyond repair.

Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment In India

Thanks to the advancements in technology, there are a number of treatment methods available in India that can help to effectively treat the condition. While there is no way to cure Retinitis Pigmentosa, you can treat it. It is essential to speak to a qualified doctor who can suggest the best possible treatment solutions for the condition.

Since this is a genetic condition, you can also prevent the condition from occurring in your children. It is very essential to talk to your doctor about it and take all the precautionary measures that will help to prevent it from affecting the vision of your child. Always make sure you visit the doctor for a regular eye checkup since this helps to keep the eyes healthy.

Non-prescription Colored Contact Lens Dangers

Those colored contact lenses you bought from your hairdresser might just cost you your eye sight. With San Diego Comic-Con having just passed and Halloween right around the corner, the sale of cosmetic, eye altering contact lenses is at a high. Cosmetic, fashion, costume or colored, the lenses go by many names. While it may seem cool to have zombie eyes, cat’s eyes or simply change your eye color to a different one, most people who consider purchasing these lenses don’t realize that lasting damage caused by poorly fitted lenses cause irreversible and lasting damage to the wearers eyes.

Cosmetic contact lenses, just like their uncolored counterparts, are medical devices that require a prescription by a licensed eye doctor and are regulated by the FDA. You might say to yourself, �I have perfect vision, so I don’t need an eye doctor to check my eyes�. Although you may have excellent vision, and may not need glasses or corrective eye wear, but you do not have the same size eyes as everyone else. Just like everyone has different shoe sizes and pant sizes, people have different size eyes too, and your lenses need to be fitted to match your eye type. A 2010 study published in pediatrics indicated that roughly 13,500 emergency room cases each year are due to the wear of unregulated costume lenses in children and teens. Injuries can range from scratches and tears on your cornea (the soft skin layer over the iris, the part of the eye that gives it color), pink eye, decreased vision or even blindness. One study found that wearing unprescribed colored lenses increased the risk of keratitis (a potentially blinding infection that causes ulcers to form on your eyes), by more than 16 times when compared to people who wear regular fitted corrective lenses.

So why are shops that sell unprescribed cosmetic lenses still allowed to do so? These places are selling the contacts illegally and can face fines as high as $16,000 per violation. You may see these cosmetic lenses being sold all over by street vendors, beauty salons, flea markets, Halloween stores and gas stations. These places do not fit the contacts to your particular eye shape, nor do they provide you with proper instructions for the caring and cleaning of your lenses. The only places you should be buying your lenses from are licensed online retailers and licensed eye doctors. Purchasing them anywhere else without a prescription will only put you and your eyes at risk.

The correct way to go about purchasing colored contacts is to first visit your eye doctor. Get into the habit of seeing your eye doctor on a yearly basis. Tell them that you want to be fitted for contact lenses. They will measure your eyes and assess how they respond to contact lens wear. Once this is done your doctor will give you a valid prescription that is specific to your eyes. You can use that prescription to purchase the cosmetic lenses from your eye doctor or from an authorized online retailer; which generally tend to be a lot less expensive. Make sure the online retailer requires you to have a valid prescription; otherwise you’ll be back in the same boat as you were buying them from the street vendor or gas station. Lastly follow your doctors handling instructions for cleaning, handling and wearing the lenses. Don’t leave the lenses in longer than prescribed and don’t forget to clean them regularly as this can result in eye infections and eye ailments as well. Be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to ensure that the lenses are fitting properly. If you start to experience any discomfort, redness, soreness or vision loss contact your eye doctor immediately.