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May 02 2017

Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays

We’re all aware that too much sun can cause skin cancer, but did you know the sun’s ultraviolet rays can also do lasting damage to your eyes?

That’s why it’s important for everyone to wear sunglasses and other lenses that block UV rays.

What is Ultraviolet Light?

UV radiation refers to the invisible rays that come from the sun and can harm our eyesight. Most notably, these rays are UVA and UVB.

UVA rays can hurt your central vision by damaging the lens and retina, which can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. UVB rays can damage the front part of your eye, possibly leading to growths on the eye surface and causing corneal issues and distorted vision.

UV rays can come from many directions. They radiate directly from the sun, but they also are reflected from the ground, water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces. These rays can affect your eyes even when it’s cloudy.

These are some of the problems caused by UV rays:

  • Macular Degeneration, which is a loss of central vision.
  • Cataracts, which blur your eye’s lens and cause cloudy vision.
  • Pterygium, a growth of pink, fleshly tissue that begins on the white of the eye.
  • Photokeratitis, or “Sunburn of the eye,” which causes red eyes, sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.
May 02 2017

My Eye Is Red, Should I go to the Emergency Room?

At some point, you might be the victim of this scenario: You rub your eye really hard, or walk into something, or just wake up with a red, painful, swollen eye. However it happened, your eye is red, you’re possibly in pain, and you’re worried.

What do you do next?

Going to the Emergency Room is probably not your best bet.

Your first reaction should be to go see the eye doctor.

There are many causes for a red eye, especially a non-painful red eye. Most are relatively benign and may resolve on their own, even without treatment.

Case in point: Everyone fears the dreaded “pink eye,” which is really just a colloquial term for conjunctivitis, an inflammation or infection of the clear translucent layer (conjunctiva) overlying the white part (sclera) of our eye. Most cases are viral, which is kind of like having a cold in your eye (and we all know there is no cure for the common cold).

Going to the ER likely means you’re going to be prescribed antibiotic drops, which DO NOT treat viral eye infections. Your eye doctor may be able to differentiate if the conjunctivitis is viral or bacterial and you can be treated accordingly.

Another problem with going to the ER for your eye problem is that some Emergency Rooms are not equipped with the same instruments that your eye doctor’s office has, or the ER docs may not be well versed in utilizing the equipment they do have.

May 02 2017

Ultra-Violet Light

Most of us know we should protect our skin with sunblock. But sunblock for your eyes? Yes!

The sun produces a vast amount of electromagnetic radiation, some of which we perceive as light. Just beyond this visible light rays lies the spectrum know as ultra-violet light. UVA and UVB rays are both harmful to our bodies. Not just on hot, clear days but even on overcast days.

These rays can pass through clouds and in the winter your eyes can get sunburned or snow blinded by the UV rays reflected by the snow. This highly charged energy of the UV spectrum can disturb the DNA in the body's cells causing mutations that can result in skin cancer. Similarly excessive long term exposure can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and liaisons on the white of the eyes.

So rub that sunblock on your arms and get a good pair of sunglasses that provide both UVA and UVB protection. Your eyes will thank you.

May 02 2017

Through a Mother’s Eyes

Motherhood.., the sheer sound of it brings enduring memories. A mother’s touch, her voice, her cooking, and the smile of approval in her eyes. Science has recently proven that there is a transference of emotion and programming from birth and infancy between a mother and her child... a type of communication, if you will, that occurs when the infant looks into its mother’s eyes. So what is this programming? How does it work and what effect does it have on the life of the child? What happens if it never happened to the infant? What happens if the mother is blind? These questions and more can be answered through a term called “triadic exchanges” in which infants learn social skills.

The gaze into a mother’s eyes brings security and well being to the child. When she gazes at another person, it makes the infant look at what she is gazing at, and introduces the infant to others in the world. This is known as a triadic exchange. So now their world is no longer just one person, their mother, but a third party which teaches them the art and skill of organizing their social skills and interaction.

Interestingly, if a mother is blind, it does not adversely affect the child’s development. A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B showed no deficit in their advancement. The sheer fact that the infant looks into the mother’s eyes helps with connectedness and emotional grounding.

May 02 2017

Where Does Eye Color Come From?

Remember back to the last time you experienced the birth of a baby.....What are one of the first questions people ask? It’s “ WHAT COLOR ARE THEIR EYES?

What makes the color of our eyes appear as they do? What role do genetics play? What if you don’t like your eye color..... can you change it? Are there any medications that can change the eye color? Get ready to explore the science behind eye color by starting at the beginning.......

Baby’s eye color can change. A baby can start out with blue eyes, for example, and change to brown as they age. It’s all dependent on a brown pigment called melanin which develops as a child ages. The more melanin present, the darker the eye color. Brown eyes have the most pigment saturation, green/hazel eyes have less melanin, and blue eyes have the least pigment. The color of eyes are dependent upon genetics. Genetics are complicated, but generally speaking brown trumps blue in the probabilities if there is a brown eyed parent. This is because darker pigment is the dominant trait in genetics. This isn’t to say that two brown eyed parents could not have a blue eyed child......its just very rare.

Apr 06 2017

5 Things to Know About Safety and Your Eyes

Your Eyes.......We only have two of them so treat them well and learn how to keep them safe from harm. Here is a list of five vital ways to prevent injuries to one of your most precious assets, your vision.

  1. Wear Safety Glasses. Failure to wear protective eye wear is one of the main causes of job related injuries to the eye according to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration). Safety glasses are made from a polycarbonate material which can withstand the impact of a .22 caliber bullet. Safety glasses at work protect you from foreign bodies and chemical exposure into the eye area. Wearing protective eyewear for yard work, weed eating, and cutting wood keeps injury from high velocity foreign bodies in the eye to a minimum.
  2. Wear Sunglasses with UV A and UV B protection. Doing so protects the thin skin around the eyes from sunburn, and also helps protect your ocular system. It has long been stated that excessive exposure to sunlight causes cataracts, so using ultraviolet (UV) protection in your sunglasses is vital. Many sunglasses, especially for children, do not contain UV filters. These can actually harm your eyes more, exposing more sunlight through a dilated pupil. Buyer beware: not all sun glasses are created equally.
  3. Make sure children’s glasses are made of polycarbonate material and have UV protection. This ensures a minimum exposure of ultraviolet rays which will pay off when they are older by helping prevent cataracts. The polycarbonate lens material gives maximum protection against breakage.
  4. Don’t obstruct vision with a child’s costume. During Halloween, opt for face paint instead of a mask that could occlude or obstruct vision. Also put reflector tape on the child’s costume. Bulky masks that accompany halloween costumes can be a deterrent to the child seeing out of the mask. During Halloween or a costume party, keep it fun be “seeing and being seen.”
  5. Use the wisdom of preventative maintenance. Get yearly eye examinations where the entire retina is evaluated with a a dilated exam. Just as you change oil on your car every three thousand miles keeps it running in tip top shape, the same holds true for your ocular health. Routine check ups, sunglasses, vitamins, and smoking cessation will keep those peepers healthy and clear.

It is incumbent upon us all to be educated on these facts for ourselves, our family members, and our co workers.

Applying these pointers can be used to keep your eyes healthy, efficient, clear and safe.

 

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

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