Recent Articles From Our Blog
The team at Allied Eye wants those who are living with diabetes to enjoy a life that includes great vision! Unfortunately, sometimes in those with diabetes, elevated blood sugar can lead to blood vessels being restricted, which can cause vision loss.
But by taking steps to keep blood sugar levels in check—such as with a healthy weight—diabetes symptoms can be lessened and vision can be protected. Read on for a look at how to maintain a healthy weight—even if you don’t have diabetes.
How to Reach—and Keep—a Healthy Weight
First, add regular exercise into your routine. The best part? Exercise can be any type of physical activity you want to do. If you don’t like running, don’t go running. Instead, choose an activity you enjoy, such as walking your dog around the neighborhood, going for a bike ride with friends or attending a yoga class. Now that it’s summer, take advantage of the pool and swim some laps. Remember, the important part is making exercise a part of your daily routine.
Second, try to reduce screen time as much as you can throughout the day. Let’s face it—our smartphones have basically become an extension of our fingertips. Wouldn’t you agree? Now’s a great time to start cutting back your use of the smartphone—and all electronic devices for that matter. This isn’t to say you can’t use them at all, but you should try to limit your time with them. You can’t control the number of hours you spend sitting in a front of a computer at work, but you can limit your time with devices at home. And you can take regular breaks at work to walk around.
Finally, don’t skip breakfast. Just don’t do it. You need breakfast in order to wake your body up, kickstart your metabolism and keep your energy going throughout the day. Plus, by eating breakfast, you are setting yourself up for better eating habits throughout the day.
Did you know that systemic diseases like diabetes may manifest in the eye? That’s one reason why regular eye exams are so important. Make an appointment at Allied Eye so that our knowledgeable ophthalmologist can help ensure your vision and your health are in a good place.
The team at Allied Eye understands the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. However, do you know how vital adequate sleep is to your eyes? Give this nighttime routine a try to get a decent night’s sleep—and protect your eye health.
Take a moment to think about your nighttime routine. Does it involve reading a bedtime story to your kids? Packing a lunch for work tomorrow? Setting out your clothes that you are going to wear the next day? Brushing your teeth? Chances are that it involves all these things. However, you might be neglecting something that needs to be added to your nightly routine, which is making sure your eyes are protected.
First, if you wear contacts, it’s vitally important that you take out your contacts before going to sleep. While some contact lenses are marketed as being safe to sleep in, it’s still best to take them out. When you sleep in your contacts, you are preventing your eyes from getting enough oxygen. As a result, you increase your risk of infection, inflammation and even permanent eye damage. Therefore, it’s important that you take your contacts out every night before bed!
Second—and this is going to be a hard one for most of us—you need to put away your smartphone. You may already know that smartphones emit a “blue light” that throws off our sleep cycle by making our bodies think it is time to be awake and not sleep. However, smartphones pose a different risk to our eye health. Ever rolled over during the night and while unable to sleep grabbed your phone and started scrolling? You could risk damaging your vision. A phenomenon called “transient smartphone blindness,” which was discussed in the New England Journal of Medicine, can occur when you squint one eye closed and keep the other eye open while reading in the dark. The best option? When it’s time for bed, put your smartphone on the charger across the room or in another room altogether.
Is your eyesight giving you problems? Make an appointment at Allied Eye so that our knowledgeable ophthalmologist can examine your eyes to find the root of the problem and prescribe a treatment plan.
In recognition of Cataract Awareness Month this June, the team at Allied Eye wants to give you the facts on this common condition that affects more than 24 million Americans.
Get the 411 on Cataracts
According to the National Eye Institute, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Cataracts occur when the lens in your eye become cloudy. Due to the fact that cataracts can form slowly, some people may not even realize they suffer from the condition, which is why yearly eye exams are so important, especially for those age 65 and older.
Other signs of cataracts include:
- Frequent changes in contact or glasses prescriptions (particularly more than once within a year)
- Colors that appear faded or washed out
- Sensitivity to light and glare
Typically, cataracts occur in both eyes. However, there can be worsening symptoms in one eye compared to the other. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you are suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms.
While there are some risk factors you can’t control when it comes to cataracts, such as your age and family history, there are some ways to help lower your risk, including:
- Avoiding alcohol
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
If you are diagnosed with cataracts, our ophthalmologist is able to perform cataract surgery that will allow you to see things more clearly. Dr. Matzin performs cataract surgery on a regular basis using the Alcon LenSx Laser System and selects implants that will help provide the best vision and safety for your eyes.
If you feel like you might be experiencing cataracts, visit Allied Eye for a comprehensive eye exam to ensure your eye health is where it needs to be.
The team at Allied Eye understands how much fun swimming during the summer can be. Whether you’re swimming in a pool at your home, a local pool or at a water park, it’s important to protect your eyes from the risks the water can cause to your eye health.
Swim at Your Own Eye Risk
When a swimming pool is cleaned, many different chemicals are used to help kill and disinfect any bacteria lurking in the water. However, these same chemicals that are used to treat the water and keep it safe can also cause harm to your eyes. Symptoms like redness, itchiness, inflammation and even chemical-related pinkeye can occur. Therefore, it’s important to take preventive action when swimming in the water.
For starters, wear swimming goggles. Swimming goggles are also needed for swimming in oceans, rivers and lakes, too, since bacteria and animal waste can be living within those waters.
Goggles are the best way to protect your eyes while swimming, but they don’t always prevent all water from getting to the eyes. If you wear contacts, it’s best to remove them while swimming, since goggles aren’t a fool-safe method of keeping the eyes dry. This is for a couple reasons: For one, contacts are extremely easy to lose. Plus, it is also easy for bacteria to live on your contacts, which makes you more prone to eye infections from the water.
If goggles are not available, make sure you close your eyes while swimming under water. However, it’s best to just keep your head above water, if possible.
Take note that conjunctivitis, particularly “chemical conjunctivitis,” is extremely common among swimmers. Therefore, if you experience any of the symptoms, such as redness, swollen eyelids, blurred vision or leaky discharge from the eye, be sure to make an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible.
Are your eyes stinging or burning? Make an appointment with Allied Eye today so that our highly trained ophthalmologist can take a look at your eyes and decide on the proper treatment plan to get you back quickly to having some fun this summer.
The team at Allied Health wants your vision to be as sharp as possible for years and years to come. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help improve and protect your vision for the long haul.
Seeing Into a Healthier Future
While corrective lenses or surgery can sometimes be the answer to helping people improve their vision, there are also lifestyle habits that can benefit your eyes, including:
A Healthy, Eye-friendly Diet
You need to eat anyway, so why not choose foods that satisfy your tummy and your vision? The next time you eat at a restaurant or go to the grocery store, try choosing some of these items:
Now would also be a great time to stop smoking, especially since smoking can lead to macular degeneration and cataracts. Plus, tobacco use is bad for your overall health. Therefore, by quitting smoking, you could be saving your eyesight, as well as improving other aspects of your health.
Just like your skin needs protection during the warmer months, so does your eyesight. In fact, just like smoking, the sun’s strong UV rays can also lead to macular degeneration and cataracts. Visit our Allied Optical Shop to take a look at our sunglasses that help to block UVA and UVB rays, as well as some that can help block the sides of your eyes for added protection from the sun. And one other tip: The sun’s rays are powerful all year long. Eighty percent of the harmful rays come through even on cloudy days.
Make an appointment with Allied Eye today if you have questions about how you can improve and protect your eye health. We’re here to help you see things more clearly.
The team at Allied Health wishes our smartphones could be our friends. It probably wouldn’t be as bad if the so-called “digital world” wasn’t staring us in the face 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But, it is. We spend most of our time in front of some type of electronic device, whether it be a computer, smartphone, tablet or other device, and we aren’t giving our eyes the break they need. And it’s hurting our vision.
If you had to take a guess, how much time would you say you spend in front of an electronic device during the day? Would it be four hours? Six hours? More than eight hours? Chances are, it’s more than you should be for your vision’s sake.
When you’re staring at a digital screen all day, you’re increasing your risk of suffering eyestrain, itchiness, and red eyes—which can all end up causing retinal damage.
Protect Your Eyes
While you may not be able to fully get away from being in front a computer or smartphone for your job, there are ways you can help reduce the risk looking at the intense light of the screen can bring to your vision.
First, limiting your screentime as much as possible is the best way to protect your eyes. Therefore, if you don’t have to be in front of a screen, don’t.
When you’re using a device, try to reduce the glare that comes from your screen by using screen protectors and dimming the brightness of the screen.
Try to give your eyes a break, too. One of the rules most experts recommend following is the 20-20-20 rule, which means that for every 20 minutes you are in front of a screen, you need to stare at something that is at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
If you’re experiencing any vision issues, such as dry eyes, redness, or itching, make an appointment with Allied Eye to have your eyes checked.
What would you do without your vision? It can be hard to imagine. Fortunately, our team at Allied Eye wants to help you keep your eyes healthy for years to come!
Avoid Eye Problems
Who doesn’t want to keep their eyes healthy? We all do! Here are some things to help our eyes stay protected and healthy for the long haul.
First, keep in mind what you eat. While you may automatically think about what you eat in conjunction with your weight, what you eat can also help keep your eyes healthy. Therefore, be sure you are eating a diet full of brightly colored vegetables, salmon and other cold water fish, and foods filled with vitamin A like carrots to help relieve dry eyes and fight eye disease.
Second, be sure to keep your eyes safe from the sun, especially since the weather outside is becoming sunnier and warmer. Obviously your skin can burn, but your eyes can also be damaged by the sun. Wearing sunscreen on your face and sunglasses to protect your eyes can help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
How long do you stare at a computer screen every day? Chances are, it’s actually longer than you realize. Whether you’re working during the day on a computer at your desk job or you’re looking at your phone, tablet or television in the evenings, screen-time is a reality today. Many of us spend more time looking at a screen than at anything else during the day. Which, in turn, leads to digital eye strain. When possible, try and stay away from technology in order to give your eyes a break. When you’re at work and time at a computer is required, be sure to take regular breaks where you look away from the computer screen for at least 20 seconds at a time.
Finally, you need to make sure you have a regular eye exam every year. These comprehensive eye exams check to see if your vision has changed, but they also help detect diabetes, glaucoma and cataracts at the earliest stage possible for treatment.
When’s the last time you had your eyes checked? Make an appointment at Allied Eye to keep your vision in check.
You might have knee pads and helmets in mind, but Allied Eye wants to make sure you’re sending your athlete out onto the field with one other thing this sports season—protective eye gear!
Where Are Your Safety Glasses?
When purchasing eye gear for sports, make sure it fits properly. Choose goggles or eye protection that has cushioning near the eyebrows and nose so that it’s comfortable to wear. You don’t want your child to be adjusting eye gear when a ball is headed his or her way.
Even if your child doesn’t already wear reading or eye glasses, you should still purchase eye guards to help prevent a cut or scratch from occurring on the face close to the eyes. Plus, the UV rays from the sun can damage the eyes more than you realize, and the protective eye gear can help keep vision safe from the sun, too!
Did your child catch a ball or elbow to the eye? Visit Allied Eye to ensure his or her vision or eye health was not affected by the injury.
If you think your eyes are a victim of digital eyestrain, these tips from our team at Allied Eye may help.
Weaning Away From the Screen
It’s hard to go a day without being in front of some sort of screen. And extended time in front of a computer hurts more than just our physical activity level—our eyes are also suffering.
Time spent looking at a screen can cause:
- A burning sensation
- Eye fatigue and soreness
- Itchy eyes
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty concentrating
So what can you do to alleviate the pain?
Start by taking routine breaks from the screen. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes while working at your computer, look up for at least 20 seconds and gaze at something at least 20 feet in the distance. This helps relax the eye muscles.
It’s also important to keep your monitor or laptop screen 20 to 24 inches away from your eyes. And make certain that the font size is set to something that’s easily readable.
When you’re not at work, try to limit screen time. This isn’t to say you have to skip your favorite sitcom. But instead of eating dinner in front of the television, have dinner at the table in the kitchen and talk to one another. Instead of waiting around for your TV show by texting or goofing off on your smartphone, go take a walk or play a game of “HORSE” until time to watch. Doing so will help give your eyes the break they need—and give you some much-needed family time.
Has it been a while since you had an eye exam? Don’t wait any longer! Come in and be seen by a knowledgeable and highly-trained ophthalmologist at Allied Eye!
Eye swelling is an annoyance most of us will experience in our lifetime at one point or another. However, this eye condition can be a sign of something more serious, especially if it doesn’t go away within a day or two. Find out what could be the source of your eye swelling.
Overcome Eye Swelling
There are many causes of eye swelling, but let’s take a look at a few of the most common.
Eye allergies are a common cause of eye swelling. If you suffer from eye allergies, you’ll often experience swollen eyelids and red, itchy and watery eyes.
Pink eye is another reason your eyes swell. Pink eye (also known as “conjunctivitis”) is a common eye disease that often seems to appear when cold and flu season is at its peak.
An eye stye could also be the culprit. A stye occurs when a tear gland or eyelash follicle becomes infected. This causes a red, swollen, tender bump on the eyelid. If you experience a stye, try applying a warm compress over the eye briefly several times a day.
If you experience eye swelling that lingers, come in for an appointment. Quality eye care is right around the corner!