Posts Tagged ‘eye health’

Computer Vision Syndrome Tips

Computer Vision Syndrome causes vision problems such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes. Learn about preventing computer vision syndrome.The more technology evolves, the more difficult it can be to resist interacting with screens throughout the day. Nielsen confirmed this in June 2016 stating that adults in the United States spend around 10 hours and 39 minutes in front of screens per day. This means that using smartphones, laptops, computers, televisions, tablets, and other personal devices consumes almost half of the typical American adult’s day. As this usage increases, so does our susceptibility to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is defined by the American Optometric Association as “a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and cell phone use.” CVS typically results in only temporary vision problems such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes, it is also possible for these symptoms to continue even after screen interaction has stopped. That’s why device users must be educated on their susceptibility to Computer Vision Syndrome and be aware of ways to prevent it.

While the obvious suggestion to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome is to eliminate or decrease our daily screen time, this is easier said than done since our lives require interacting with these devices. Instead, follow these three simple tips to help prevent vision problems:

  • Match the brightness of your screen to the lighting of the room you are in
  • Maintain proper posture when using devices by sitting up straight and having relaxed shoulders
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule of every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break 20 feet from a screen

It is important to listen to our bodies as well as follow these guidelines to prevent vision problems that come with our constant interactions with screens. The more we pay attention, the less susceptible we might be to Computer Vision Syndrome.

About Ann Van Wie, OD, FAAO

ann van wieAnn M. Van Wie, OD, FAAO, is an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology within Emory University’s School of Medicine. She serves in the Vision & Optical Services within the Comprehensive Ophthalmology section at the Emory Eye Center.

Dr. Van Wie received her doctorate from the Illinois College of Optometry. She completed her residency in Atlanta, then served as staff optometrist and chief operating officer at the Northwest Eye Clinic in Minneapolis. Dr. Van Wie returned to Atlanta to join the Emory Eye Center in 2000.

April is Sports Eye Safety Month!

summer-sports-smallAccording to a national survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), only 35 percent of respondents said they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance; even fewer do so while playing sports. As such, AAO has named April Eye Safety Month to help increase public awareness of wearing protective eyewear when participating in team sports.

According to the AAO:

  • Men are more likely to sustain an eye injury than women.
  • Most people believe that eye injuries are most common on the job — especially in the course of work at factories and construction sites. But, in fact, nearly half (44.7 percent) of all eye injuries occurred in the home, as reported during the fifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot (conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma).
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third (34.2 percent) of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
  • Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
  • Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury (including glasses or contact lenses), only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses.

Studies have shown that more than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented, simply by wearing the right protective eyewear. Specific eyewear is available for just about any activity—the experts at the Emory Eye Center can recommend the appropriate eyewear for your sport and make sure you have the right fit. If you’ve suffered an eye injury, be sure to have an ophthalmologist examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor.

Protecting your eyes from injury will go a long way toward maintaining healthy vision throughout your life.

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Contact Lens Health Week

contact-lensYou only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses. Contact Lens Health Week (August 24th-28th) was established to increase awareness about the importance of proper contact lens hygiene and encourage contact wearers to adopt healthy habits to avoid eye infections. These types of infections can lead to blindness which most commonly occurs in contact users. We emphasize contact users to work on these healthy habits everyday, but this week is a helpful reminder to:

  • Practice healthy contact lens hygiene habits
    • Wash and dry your hands before touching your contacts.
    •  Don’t sleep in your contacts (unless your eye doctor approves).
    • Avoid wearing contacts while showering, swimming, or using a hot tub.
  • Practice proper use, care, and storage of contact lenses and supplies
    • Rub and rinse your contacts with solution each time you clean.
    • Only use fresh disinfecting solution- don’t mix new with old.
    • Never store your contacts in water.
    • Get a new case at least every three months.
  • Attend regular visits to an eye care provider
    •  Visit your eye doctor once a year-or more often if needed.
    • Ask questions about how to care for your lenses and case.

If you have questions about contact eye health call 404-778-2020.

If you’re thinking about tossing those contacts for options in LASIK, contact 404-778-2SEE.

About the Author

ann van wieAnn M. Van Wie, OD, FAAO, is an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology within Emory University’s School of Medicine. She serves in the Vision & Optical Services within the Comprehensive Ophthalmology section at the Emory Eye Center.

Dr. Van Wie received her doctorate from the Illinois College of Optometry. She completed her residency in Atlanta, then served as staff optometrist and chief operating officer at the Northwest Eye Clinic in Minneapolis. Dr. Van Wie returned to Atlanta to join the Emory Eye Center in 2000.

Dr. Van Wie provides comprehensive eye exams, prescribes glasses and contact lenses at both The Emory Clinic, Building B on the main campus and at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital Campus. She also provides follow-up for those having refractive surgery (Emory Vision) at the Perimeter location.

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RELATED RESOURCES:
The Top Five Benefits of LASIK
6 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Vision
5 Tips in Preventing Computer-Eye Strain
Orange Means ‘Go’ When it Comes to Eye Health
Why Do You Need a Yearly Eye Exam?

5 Tips in Preventing Computer-Eye Strain

Computer Eye StrainYou’ve probably had a headache from sitting and staring at a computer screen too long. Especially with contacts lens, you know that dry blinking feeling that comes after a couple hours at a desktop. There’s actually a name for this – computer vision syndrome (CVS). Contact and glasses wearers generally report more issues than non-wearers. Either way, there are a few things you can do to avoid issues.

  • See your eye care specialist regularly: Out-of-date prescription can be to blame for computer eye strain. (Consult a LASIK specialist to determine if LASIK or another similar procedure could get you the vision you desire.)
  • Square up to your computer: The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned in front of you. Don’t turn to one side to see your screen – your monitor should be about 4 inches below your line of vision so your gaze is slightly down.
  • Use good posture: Sitting or standing requires some intention. Roll your shoulder back and down to reduce strain for your neck, shoulders and back.
  • Take a break: Staring and glaring isn’t nice in a social setting and it’s probably not good for your computer work either. A break every 15 mins for a quick stretch is recommended.
  • Blink: No matter what amount of time you’re spending looking at a screen remember to be good to your eyes and blink. On average, when we’re awake, people blink 25 a minute. Blinking keeps your eye clean by using natural tears. It’s an automatic reflex, but when you’re deep in thought it’s good to give an additional and intentional blink to give the eyes a rest.

Five tips don’t make up a comprehensive list, but a couple more things to consider are lighting and computer glare. Some people find that computer glasses help and cleaning the screen of your computer can freshen up your space from dust while giving your eyes a more clear sharper image for your eyes to focus.

If you have questions about computer-eye strain call 404-778-2020.

If you’re thinking about tossing those contacts for options in LASIK, contact 404-778-2SEE.

About Dr. Randleman

J. Bradley Randleman, MDJ. Bradley Randleman, MD, is a widely respected cornea specialist whose areas of expertise include: cataract and refractive cataract surgery with premium IOL implantation, LASIK and other corneal and intraocular refractive surgical procedures, the management of keratoconus, corneal diseases, and corneal transplantation. His primary research interests include the diagnosis, prevention, and management of refractive surgical complications and corneal cross-linking.

Dr. Randleman joined the Emory Eye Center faculty in 2004 and served as assistant residency director for two years while also completing a fellowship at Emory University in cornea/external disease and refractive surgery. He serves as service director for the section of Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery.

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Orange Means ‘Go’ When it Comes to Eye Health

Orange Produce Eye HealthOranges, carrots, kumquats, cantaloupes, peaches, persimmons, guava, papaya, mangoes, pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and salmon. What do all these foods have in common? These vibrant fruits, vegetables, and, yes, fish aren’t just eye-catching—they also offer up a bounty of vitamins and nutrients that are good for your eyes, including “eye achievers” beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Probably the best known for eye health, beta carotene is what makes an orange orange. It doesn’t just provide the color, though. As a powerful antioxidant and precursor to Vitamin A, beta carotene promotes good eye health by protecting the cells of the eyes from free radical damage caused by pollution and sun exposure. Beta carotene can also delay cognitive aging and protect skin from sun damage.

Vitamin A, commonly referred to as retinal, retinol, and retonoic acid, is important for both normal and night vision. Other antioxidant benefits include neutralizing the damaging free radicals in the body and supporting your immune system.

Vitamin C is essential to eye health, as it nourishes the eyes and protects them from oxidative stress. Vitamin C can help prevent eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. This antioxidant also protects against cardiovascular disease, boosts the immune system, and helps rebuild collagen in the skin.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as you’d find in salmon and other fatty fish, can help relieve dry eyes, in addition to helping protect your peepers against retinal degeneration. And it doesn’t hurt that omega-3 is also good for helping keep your cholesterol in check.

Now that you know why orange-colored foods are such a great choice for maintaining healthy eyes, how would you like some great-tasting, eye-healthy recipes? We’ve got ’em for you at Emory Healthcare’s Recipes for Wellness. Taste test the amazing butternut squash lasagna recipe, yummy glazed carrots, or our delicious roasted acorn squash with chile-lime vinaigrette.

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Are 3-D Movies Bad for Your Eyes?

Are 3-D movies bad for your eyesWith more and more movies coming out in 3-D, a lot of our patients are asking us whether watching 3-D is bad for their eyes. Many parents are also concerned for their children’s developing eyesight. If big action 3-D movies are your thing, we’ve got good news for you. According to our eye experts, there is no medical evidence to support the idea that watching 3-D movies or playing 3-D games will harm your children’s eyesight or your own.

In fact, according to Susan Primo, O.D., M.P.H., of the Emory Eye Center, 3-D technology can actually help detect underlying visual problems in both children and adults that might otherwise go undiagnosed. This is because people who have visual problems may experience significant discomfort while watching a 3-D movie.

3-D films work by altering our binocular vision, or how both our eyes work together to see. If your eyes are irritated or tired after a 3-D movie, this is most likely a reaction to adjusting the way you see, much as you would with a new pair of glasses or contact lenses. Tired or irritated eyes usually are not an indication of a real problem.

However, factors that create poor binocular vision, such as a lazy eye, can be aggravated by 3-D. If watching a 3-D movie makes you dizzy or nauseated or gives you a headache, you should probably have your vision checked. Vision problems caused by weak eye muscles or poor eye coordination often can be corrected or improved with vision therapy.

If your child complains of serious discomfort when watching 3-D movies, go ahead and make an appointment with an eye care provider. Children, in particular, don’t always know when their vision isn’t what it should be, and the same problems that make 3-D viewing challenging can also cause your child to have difficulty in school or at sports. It’s good to catch the problem early, as younger eye muscles are easier to train through therapy.

Do 3-D movies bother your eyes? Do you think you may have an underlying visual problem? We’d like to hear about your experience. Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below.