This week has been especially hot here in Michigan. Besides drinking plenty of water, slathering on sunscreen, and finding shade, remember when enjoying the outdoors, it is important to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses with UV protection and a broad brimmed hat.
Screens have become a normal part of life in modern society. We use them to work, watch television, play video games, look at the weather, etc. The average adult consumes five times more information daily than they did over 50 years ago. Much of this is due to the increased use of computers, mobile phones, and the internet. It’s not uncommon for the average person to spend seven hours or more a day looking at a screen.
Blue Light and Your Eyes
The issue isn’t so much the screen itself but the blue light being emitted by the screen. You can look at a screen and generally experience no long-term side effects. However long exposure to blue light can cause damage to your eyes.
A recent study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) found that children’s eyes absorb more blue light from screens than adults do. Which can be seen today when we give our child a screen to keep them busy while we carry on with our day to day responsibilities. Other studies suggest that continued exposure can lead to retinal cell damage.
You may also notice the symptoms of eye strain. If you experience dry eyes, fatigue, or headaches, it may be time to cut down your screen usage.
Protecting Your Eyes from Digital Screens
Changing your habits can help protect your eyes from the side effects of lengthy screen time. You can:
- Always hold screens 20” to 26” away from eyes and a little below eye-level
- Change lighting to lower glare and reflections or use glare filters
- Sit in a chair that allows you to adjust your position
- Wear computer glasses that block blue light
- Use anti-reflective lenses to increase contrast and lower glare
During your appointment, ask us how to protect your vision from digital screens. Our ophthalmologists have studied these topics and can answer your questions and help you develop habits that keep your eyes healthy.
Sunglasses look cool. They come in numerous styles that it is easy to find a pair you love. There are classic cat’s eye and aviator frames as well as oval, rectangle, shield, and rimless designs. The key is finding a pair that offers 100% UVA and UVB protection for your eyes.
What Does the Sun Do to My Eyes?
Many learn at a young age that you are never supposed to look directly into the sun. It can cause damage to your retina that can lead to blindness. Even if you never stare into our favorite star, you can still be at risk for eye damage if you don’t wear sunglasses.
According to the National Eye Institute, approximately 20% of cataracts are caused by extended UV exposure. It can also worsen the symptoms of glaucoma.
Macular Degeneration causes a part of the retina, known as the macula, to deteriorate. This will impair vision and eventually lead to blindness. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study that found exposure to certain types of UV radiation can speed up macular degeneration.
Remember that you can experience sun damage on cloudy days. UV rays can pass through clouds, so you should still wear protection when it is overcast outside.
Finding the Right Sunglasses for Your Eyes
It is important to find the right type of sunglasses for your eyes so you will wear them and achieve the highest benefits. For example, surfers often wear wraparound shades for better sunlight protection next to the water. You may need something with a sturdy frame if you are playing a sport or working outdoors. Contact Grosinger, Spigelman & Grey today if you need a comprehensive eye exam before purchasing new prescription sunglasses.
Summer is an exciting season. The weather gets warmer and people begin enjoying outdoor activities. One favorite family pastimes are setting off fireworks. They are most common around the beginning of July but are often enjoyed all summer long. That’s why it is so important to think about your eyes this month.
Fireworks-Related Eye Injuries Are Real
It is easy to dismiss stories of people being injured by fireworks as old wives’ tales, but the fact is that these incidents are very real. People can and do get hurt when using fireworks. Many times, the injury occurs due to a lack of safety measures while handling these festive explosives.
Nearly 11,000 people are rushed to the emergency room each year. Approximately 18% of these injuries involve the patient’s eyes. Eyes are the second highest area of injury next to skin burns. Out of those, bottle rockets cause 15% of all fireworks-related eye injuries.
While those statistics are concerning enough, parents and grandparents will be alarmed to learn that children under the age of 15 are the most frequently injured age group. Those harmless sparklers everyone loves to give kids make up around 10% of fireworks injuries.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Eyes This Summer?
You don’t have to give up fireworks completely. What can you do to protect your eyes and the eyes of those around you this summer?
- Plan to go to a professional firework display instead of setting up your own.
- When setting off fireworks, make sure everyone in the area wears safety glasses. Sunglasses or regular prescription glasses do not count.
- Never allow children to handle or be around fireworks unattended. Parents should be in the area to observe 100% of the time.
You can’t prevent every injury, but you can reduce the risk and reduce the severity of the injury if it happens.
The answer; not really BUT it is ill advised to force your eyes open in excessively frigid temperatures especially with gusty winds as your cornea can freeze or your contact lenses can freeze to your eyeball.
Luckily, any damage usually heals within weeks if not sooner, but not always. There are those that have tissue loss and need restorative surgery. So, it is best when outdoors in extreme cold temperatures like we are experiencing now to wear proper goggles or eye wear to protect your eyes.
Sports Eye Safety Month is here, making this a great time to learn more about injury prevention. Whether you, your children or grandchildren play sports casually or as part of a team, precaution should always be taken to shield your eyes from trauma. The following tips will help protect you and your loved ones while playing sports.
Sports Eye Injury Prevention Tip 1: Regular Glasses Are Not Enough
Don’t rely on your regular prescription or non-prescription glasses to shield your eyes. These are not designed to withstand the potential impacts you may experience while engaging in sports. Your eyewear could be damaged and may further injure your face and eyes.
Sports Eye Injury Prevention Tip 2: Choose the Right Batting Helmet
Batting helmets can help protect your eyes. When choosing gear for youth and adult baseball leagues, always use a batting helmet that’s equipped with a polycarbonate face shield.
Sports Eye Injury Prevention Tip 3: Use Approved Hockey Helmets & Watch for Wear
Hockey is a high-impact sport, which puts your eyes at risk. Make sure you only wear helmets that are U.S. Amateur Hockey Association approved. Regularly check your equipment for damage and replace as needed.
Sports Eye Injury Prevention Tip 4: Check Goggles for ASTM F803 Approval
Always wear safety goggles when participating in high-risk sports like racquetball, basketball, and paintball. These should be lensed polycarbonate protectors that come with ASTM F803 approval.
Sports Eye Injury Prevention Tip 5: Monitor Eye Health On and Off the Field
Eye safety starts with good health. When your eyes are in great condition, they will be more resilient and will function properly. When you see better, you will be better able to avoid falls and impacts. Contact Grosinger, Spigelman & Grey Michigan’s Leading Eye Care Physicians today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
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