Smoking And Your Eyes

It is a countdown to the end of the year and almost time to wave goodbye to 2021. Many people are beginning to think about their goals for 2022, and for some people, quitting smoking is their top goal. The most common health effect that comes to mind when we think of smoking is lung cancer, but it doesn’t stop there; your eye health is also in jeopardy.

Smoking is harmful to every system in the body, and it is detrimental to our vision. A smoking habit can do more damage to our eyesight than the disease can, in a few different ways. Smoking over a long period can have a significant effect on your eye health and vision.

Consider these statistics that encourage to take steps forward to quit:

  • 34.1 million adults (over age 18) in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.
  • Smoking cigarettes remains the leading cause of preventable disease and disability in the United States.
  • There is good news about the number of smokers in the U.S., which has decreased from 20.9% in 2005 to 14.0% in 2019.

A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that, while progress is being made, smoking and tobacco use remains a concern for the health of millions of Americans. 

Smoking makes for itchy, watery eyes, which can be a nuisance. However, more importantly, smoking escalates the risk for vision-threatening eye diseases are highlighted below: 

Smoking: A Risk Factor for Every Age-Related Eye Disease

Studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and even Dry Eye Syndrome. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD is the deterioration of the macula (the central part of the retina where we see the sharpest detail), causing irreversible blindness. Compared to nonsmokers, smokers have triple the risk of developing AMD, and they’re more likely to begin developing the disease up to ten years earlier than nonsmokers do on average.

Cataracts

Smoking doubles the risk of cataracts, the world’s leading cause of blindness. For heavy smokers, it triples the risk! Cataract symptoms begin with blurred or double vision, light sensitivity, faded colors, and reduced night vision. Fortunately, cataract surgeries are prevalent and safe, so this type of vision loss usually isn’t irreversible.

Retinopathy

Retinopathy is an eye disease closely associated with diabetes, but smoking increases a person’s chances of developing diabetes by up to 40 percent, increasing the risk of retinopathy. Poorly controlled blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak blood into the eye. If the damage is severe enough, it can eventually starve the retina of oxygen and lead to blindness.

Smokers Aren’t Always the Only Ones Affected

Secondhand smoke combines the smoke from the end of the cigarette with what the smoker exhales. In addition to harming the vision of the smoker, it can put the eyesight of others at risk, too, along with many other health effects. The most vulnerable are young children and infants.

Vaping: Is Not a Safe Alternative

Vaping is proclaimed as the “healthy” alternative to smoking. Still, many of the chemicals in an e-cigarette liquid have been linked to increased risks of these same vision-threatening diseases we’ve discussed. 

Break the Habit to Save Your Vision

Smoking is the most preventable cause of vision loss because we can control whether or not we do it. It’s never too late to quit. Quitting reduces the risk of macular degeneration by six percent after just one year, reducing the risk of developing cataracts! As your eye care specialists, we care deeply about your health. If you need resources to help you quit smoking, the American Cancer Society has helpful tips

Your Eye Health is Our Top Goal!

 

References:

 American Academy of Ophthalmology

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

We Are Thankful For Our Patients

This Thanksgiving season, it is essential to acknowledge the things we are grateful for in our lives, and we give thanks to all of our patients. 

The doctors and staff of The Eye Center Of North Florida have the opportunity to touch so many people’s lives in such a unique way, and we see patients all the time who tell us how their eye care appointment has made a huge difference for them. From a boosted self-esteem to a clearer vision to see the world a little brighter, which has a powerful impact on daily life activities.

We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge a few of the heartfelt “thank yous” we have received.  Kind words from patients like this motivate and humble us. We are so grateful for all our wonderful patients.

Notes from Our Patients:

“Thankful for all the Dr’s & staff. Always very pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable. The staff in the optical department is the best, very experienced with their products, as well as face shapes, fit, & your need for the product. Ready to assist you so that you always leave feeling happy not only with your product, but also the fit and feeling you get by wearing your new product.”

What a great experience! Professional, friendly staff that was extremely knowledgeable in helping me with my eyecare needs. A beautiful optical that was clean with a great selection of frames. Very affordable with a quick turnaround time. Awesome! 

We are grateful for your trust, and by choosing our practice, you tell us that you trust us, even if you do not say it explicitly. We are incredibly grateful that you believe in what we do, so much so that patients often refer others to our practice. We appreciate you for arriving at your appointment and sharing your positive experiences with others, and we work to show how thankful we are each day.

This Thanksgiving holiday, we want to let you know we are so thankful for all of our patients, both past and current. We are glad to help many people improve their daily lives and their eye health.

We wish you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!

 

World Keratoconus Day

This week we are spotlighting World Keratoconus Day, which takes place on November 10, 2021. This is a perfect time to increase awareness about the condition sponsored by the National Keratoconus Foundation, an educational program of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, UC Irvine, to raise awareness about keratoconus (KC). We are joining in to educate about keratoconus and advocate for individuals living with the condition.

Normal Cornea vs. Keratoconic Cornea Vision Simulator 

Keratoconus, often called ‘KC,’ is an eye condition in which the cornea weakens and thins over time, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. Keratoconus can result in significant visual loss and may lead to corneal transplant in severe cases.

What is the Diagnosis and Treatment For Keratoconus? 

Keratoconus can be diagnosed through a routine eye exam. Your eye doctor will examine your cornea and may measure its curvature. This helps show if there is a change in its shape. Your eye doctor also may map your cornea’s surface using a particular computer. This detailed image shows the condition of the cornea’s surface.

How Is Keratoconus Treated? 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, keratoconus treatment depends on the symptoms. When the symptoms are mild, your vision can be corrected with eyeglasses. Later you may need to wear special hard contact lenses to help keep the vision in proper focus.

Here are other ways that your eye doctor may treat keratoconus:

  • Intacs – This is a small curved device that your ophthalmologist surgically puts in your cornea. Intacs help flattens the curvature of your cornea to improve vision.
  • Collagen cross-linking – Your ophthalmologist uses a special UV light and eye drops to strengthen the cornea. Doing this helps to flatten or stiffen your cornea, keeping it from bulging further.
  • Corneal transplant – When symptoms are severe, your eye doctor may suggest a corneal transplant. Your ophthalmologist replaces all or part of your diseased cornea with healthy donor cornea tissue.

Living With Keratoconus 

Lack of knowledge often creates fear, so learn all that you can about this condition. Ask questions and discuss your concerns with your eye doctor. This will be both enlightening and reassuring. Also, avoid rubbing your eyes with keratoconus because this can damage thin corneal tissue and worsen your symptoms. If you have itchy eyes that cause you to rub, speak to your eye doctor about your options to control your allergies.

We Are Your Eye Health Partners 

Keratoconus is a severe eye condition that needs more attention than it currently receives. You can help spread the word about keratoconus. If you suffer from keratoconus or know someone who struggles with their vision, contact us today to schedule an appointment. There’s no time like the present to protect your eye health.

Thank you for making us your partners in lifelong eye health! 

References: National Keratoconus Foundation and The American Academy of Ophthalmology

November Is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness that often has no early warning signs. However, early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care are the only ways to help prevent vision loss. We want to share, empower, encourage and help spread the word about diabetic eye disease. According to the National Eye Institute, by 2030, an estimated 11 million people will have diabetic retinopathy. 

What Is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause damage in many parts of the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 34 million American adults live with diabetes, and around 88 million Americans live with prediabetes. However, nearly 85% are unaware.

If you are at risk for diabetes, you are also at risk for diabetes-related eye disease and vision loss, but a comprehensive eye exam can help catch any eye health issues. Around 20% of people first learn they have diabetes as a result of a comprehensive eye exam.

What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Diabetic eye disease is a term for many eye problems that can be a result of diabetes.         Here is a list of diabetic eye diseases and diagrams of the eye from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to enhance your knowledge:  

    • Diabetic Retinopathy – is when blood vessels in the retina swell, leak, or close off completely. Abnormal new blood vessels can also grow on the surface of the retina.
    • Diabetic Macular EdemaMacular edema happens when fluid builds up on the retina and causes swelling and blurry vision. Diabetic macular edema can lead to permanent vision loss.
    • Diabetes and Cataract – Excess blood sugar from diabetes can cause cataracts. You may need cataract surgery to remove lenses that are clouded by the effects of diabetes. Maintaining good control of your blood sugar helps prevent permanent clouding of the lens.
  • Diabetes and Glaucoma glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to your eye’s optic nerve. This damage leads to irreversible loss of vision. Having diabetes doubles your chance of getting glaucoma.

If You Have Diabetes, Keep Your Eye Health on TRACK. 

Make YOUR eye health a priority during National Diabetes Month and Diabetic Eye Disease Month by taking steps to protect your vision. To prevent eye damage from diabetes, maintain good control of your blood sugar. If you have delayed scheduling your eye exam with your eye doctor, now is the perfect time to call and schedule TODAY! Also, please be sure never to skip any follow-up exams that your eye doctor recommends. 

Our Top Priority Is Your Lifelong Eye Health!

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo

References:

 American Academy of Ophthalmology

National Eye Institute

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Fast Facts, available at https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/quick-facts.html. Accessed June 23, 2020

Klunk, E. MedCity News. How to curb the high cost of diabetic eye disease, available at https://medcitynews.com/2020/01/how-to-curb-the-high-cost-of-diabetic-eye-disease/. Accessed June 23, 2020.

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

Are You Suffering From Dry Eye?

Dry eye disease is a common condition occurring when your tears cannot provide lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be scarce to produce for many reasons, which can cause your eyes to feel uncomfortable. The tear instability leads to inflammation which may damage the eye’s surface. In certain situations, you may experience dry eyes, such as looking at a computer screen for hours, the fall wind, smoke, or an arid climate. The best way to determine what your eyes are genuinely suffering from is to be correctly diagnosed by your eye doctor. We are here to partner in your eye health and share the process of dry eye diagnosis. 

How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?  

Your eye doctor will begin with a comprehensive eye exam. The examination will include your eyelids, the eye’s surface, and how you blink.

There are many different tests to help diagnose dry eyes. Your eye doctor will determine what is best for your eye health needs. Here are a few tests and procedures used to determine the cause of your dry eyes: 

  • A test to measure the volume of your tears. Your eye doctor may measure your tear production using the Schirmer test. In this test, blotting strips of paper are placed under your lower eyelids. After five minutes, your doctor measures the amount of strip soaked by your tears. Another option for measuring tear volume is the phenol red thread test. In this test, a thread filled with pH-sensitive dye (tears change the dye color) is placed over the lower eyelid, wetted with tears for 15 seconds, and then measured for tear volume.
  • Quality of your tears test. Other tests use special dyes in eyedrops to determine the surface condition of your eyes. Your doctor looks for staining patterns on the corneas and measures how long it takes before your tears evaporate.
  • A tear osmolarity test. This type of test measures the composition of particles and water in your tears. With dry eye disease, there will be less water in your eyes.
  • Tear samples to look for markers of dry eye disease, including elevated matrix metalloproteinase-9 or decreased lactoferrin.

Does Dry Eye Go Away?

Treating Dry Eye by Adding Tears

Your eye doctor might suggest you use artificial tears. These are eye drops that are like your own tears. Your eye doctor will instruct you when to use and what brand is suited for your eye health needs.

Stop Dry Eye by Saving Tears

Your eye doctor may suggest blocking your tear ducts. Blockage of your tear ducts makes your natural tears stay in your eyes longer. These tiny silicone or gel plugs (called punctal plugs) may be inserted into your tear ducts and can be removed later as needed. Your eye doctor may prescribe an eyedrop medication. Eyedrop medication will also help your eyes make more natural tears.

How To Prepare For Your Eye Doctor Appointment? 

  • List any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to why you scheduled the appointment.
  • List essential personal information, including any recent life changes and family eye health history.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, and supplements that you’re taking.
  • List questions to ask your doctor.

What To Do In The Meantime Before Your Appointment 

  • If possible, try not to use a hairdryer.
  • Stay away from high-heat rooms. As we are in fall and approaching the winter weather, add moisture to the air with a humidifier. 
  • Protect your eyes from the drying wind by wearing sunglasses outside.

To relieve your symptoms while you wait for your appointment, try over-the-counter lubricating eyedrops (artificial tears) and avoid those that advocate reducing redness in the eyes. Eyedrops that minimize eye redness can cause additional eye irritation.

We are here to help keep your eyes feeling good and healthy! Our highest priority is our patients’ eye health. 

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo

850-784-3937

References: American Academy of Ophthalmology and Mayo Clinic

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

I Have Been Diagnosed With Cataracts. Now What?

If you have been diagnosed by your eye doctor with a cataract, you are not alone. According to the National Eye Institute, cataract affects over 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older. Here at The Eye Center of North Florida, we are also here for you to ensure you have the best support for your cataract diagnosis. 

Here are a few recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to follow once diagnosed with a cataract. 

  • Have an eye exam every year if you’re older than 65, or every two years if younger.
  • Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99 percent UV and a hat.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking is a key risk factor for cataracts.
  • Use brighter lights for reading and other activities. A magnifying glass may be helpful to use.
  • Limit driving at night once night visionhalos, or glare can affect driving safety.
  • Take care of any other health problems, especially diabetes.
  • When it becomes challenging to complete your regular activities, consider cataract surgery.
  • Make an informed decision about cataract surgery. Have a discussion with your eye doctor about:
    • the surgery,
    • preparation for and recovery after surgery,
    • benefits and possible complications of cataract surgery,
    • cataract surgery costs,
    • other questions you have.

Protect Your Eyes 

You may be able to slow down your development of cataracts. Protecting your eyes from sunlight is the best way to do this. Make sure to wear sunglasses that screen out the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light rays. 

Cataract Treatment

How can cataracts be removed? Cataracts can be removed only with surgery. If your cataract symptoms are not bothering you very much, talk with your eye doctor to see when is your best time to remove the cataract. Your eye doctor can suggest options that will be best to suit your needs. 

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon will remove your eye’s cloudy natural lens. Then your eye surgeon will replace it with an artificial lens. This new lens is called an intraocular lens (or IOL). When you decide to have cataract surgery, your doctor will educate you about IOLs and how they work.

Cataracts are a prevalent reason people lose their vision, but looking on the positive side of things, you should be confident that cataracts can be treated. There is no reason you have to suffer vision loss in this day and age when this specific diagnosis can easily be reversed. Talk with your eye doctor about your cataract symptoms, and together you can decide whether you are ready for cataract surgery. We make a great team with our patients!  

We LOVE Our Patients, and THANK YOU for being part of our practice family! 

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo

850-784-3937

References: American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. Abnormally high pressure often causes this damage in your eye. Did you know that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60? However, blindeness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment. 

Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma? 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some people have a higher than average risk of getting glaucoma, and this includes: 

  • are over age 40
  • have family members with glaucoma
  • are of African, Hispanic, or Asian heritage
  • have high eye pressure
  • are farsighted or nearsighted
  • have had an eye injury
  • use long-term steroid medications
  • have corneas that are thin in the center
  • have thinning of the optic nerve
  • have diabetesmigraines, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, or other health problems affecting the whole body

Talk with your eye doctor about your risk of getting glaucoma. People with more than one of the risk factors above have an even higher risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma. 

Glaucoma Diagnosis

The only sure way to diagnose glaucoma is with a complete eye exam. A glaucoma screening that only checks eye pressure is not enough to find glaucoma.

During a glaucoma exam, your eye doctor will:

  • measure your eye pressure
  • inspect your eye’s drainage angle
  • examine your optic nerve for damage
  • test your peripheral (side) vision
  • take a picture or computer measurement of your optic nerve
  • measure the thickness of your cornea

What Are The Symptoms of Glaucoma? 

Some people have no signs of damage, but they may have a higher than normal eye pressure called ocular hypertension. This is why glaucoma has been named a silent thief of sight. Glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages. However, patients considered “glaucoma suspects” have a higher risk of developing glaucoma even if their eye pressure is normal, which is why it is so important to be monitored by your eye doctor if you are a glaucoma suspect. 

What Is The Best Glaucoma Treatment? 

Treating glaucoma successfully is a team effort between you and your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will guide you to the best treatment option that suits your needs. We are here to help you understand your condition, help you manage and stop the progression of the disease. To learn more about glaucoma treatment, call us TODAY to make your appointment. 

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo

850-784-3937

References: American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

Are Digital Devices Affecting My Eye Health?

Have you ever thought about how did we manage our daily life before having tablets or smartphones? These electronic devices, including laptops, command our attention in work, relaxing, and play. A study released by Deloitte found that Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times per day. On average, Americans across all age groups check their phones 46 times per day, according to Deloitte. Also, on average, Americans spend about five hours daily browsing the web, social media, and using apps. Adding all the screen time, including accomplishing daily work tasks at the computer, does take a toll on our eye health. 

As our usage of digital devices increases exposure to blue light and more people develop digital eye strain in our society, it is helpful to know what science tells us about safe digital screen exposure. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it offers valuable information about the effects of blue light and its damage to your eyes.  

What Is Blue Light? 

Color doesn’t typically come to mind when thinking of light, but you see the visual light spectrum when you see a rainbow. These are colors visible to the human eye that include red, blue, green “wavelengths.” All light we see combines these wavelengths, including light from the sun and computer screens.

Blue Light and Sleep

Exposure to blue light from the sun and our screens boosts mood and alertness like sunrise signals to our brain that it’s time to wake up. Still, too much exposure to blue light from screens in the evening can disrupt our body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, which is known as the circadian rhythm. Light slows the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone in our body. Here are a few tips for more restful sleep:

  • Set devices to a night or dark mode in the evening. This setting lowers screen brightness, and its warm colors are less likely to confuse your body into thinking it’s daytime.
  • Avoid using screens one to two hours before going to sleep.

Too Much Screen Time? May Cause Digital Eye Strain

Staring at digital devices for a long time can cause temporary discomfort. Every person experience eye strain in various ways, but symptoms can include:

  • dry eyes
  • blurry vision
  • watery eyes 
  • headache

The one reason why many suffer from digital eye strain is that they blink less when they stare at their digital devices. Humans’ blink rate is 15-20 times per minute, but this range is cut in half when staring at screens. To reduce digital eye strain, follow these simple tips:

  • Take frequent breaks by using the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Breaks from your screen give your eyes a chance to reset and replenish themselves.
  • Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes when they feel dry.
  • Keep your distance. Sit about arm’s length from your screen and adjust its height, so you’re looking slightly downward at it.
  • Reduce glare and brightness. To reduce glare, consider a matte screen filter for your device. Adjusting the brightness and contrast of your screen and dimming the lighting near your screen can also help reduce eye strain.

Your Eye Doctor Can Help! 

We are your partners to answer any questions or recommend specific treatments to resolve any uncomfortable eye health symptoms you are experiencing. You do not have to suffer in silence; call us today to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.  

Our Top Priority Is Your Eye Health! 

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo

References: American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

September is Healthy Aging Month

As we age, we become wiser, but our health becomes more important. There is much appreciation for the improvements in medicine; we live longer lives now. As such, it is even more critical than ever before to develop a healthy lifestyle as we get older. Like the other organs in our bodies, our eye health does not stay the same as we age. Vision changes are typical with age, but vision loss or blindness is not. It is essential to have a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor regularly. Revel in good eye health and enjoy aging gracefully. 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, here are some tips for maintaining good health now and as you age: 

Low Vision Doesn’t Have to Mean Low Ability

The term low vision describes vision loss that makes daily tasks difficult. It’s important to know that normal aging of the eyes does not lead to low vision; it results from an eye disease, injury, or both. Low vision symptoms include loss of central or peripheral (side) vision, blurred or hazy vision, or night blindness. A person may have trouble recognizing faces, reading, driving, and shopping. If you experience any of these problems, it is essential to see your eye doctor. They will check for and treat any underlying conditions and recommend low vision resources. There are devices such as magnifiers, games, and computer tools to help with reading and daily tasks. 

Preventing Eye Injuries at Home Can Save Your Sight

Did you know about half of all eye injuries happen in or around the home, most often during improvement projects? The good news: nearly all eye injuries can be prevented by using protective eyewear. Every household should keep at least one pair of certified safety glasses on hand.

As we age, changes in vision and balance increase our risk of falling at home. Here are tips to prevent fall injuries to your body and eyes:

  • Make sure that rugs and shower/bath/tub mats are slip-proof.
  • Avoid small rugs that can be a trip hazard.
  • Secure stair railings so that they are not loose.
  • Cushion sharp corners and edges of furnishings and home fixtures.
  • Increase lighting in the home to help you see better.

Nourish your Eyes With Exercise

Our eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, which regular exercise provides. Exercise also helps keep our weight in the normal range, reducing the risk of sight-stealing diabetes.

Gentler exercises, including walking, yoga, tai chi, or stretching and breathing, can effectively keep healthy. Remember to practice sun safety tips and use protective eyewear when enjoying sports and recreation.

Sleep Well for Healthy Eyes

As we sleep, our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication. Also, during sleep, the eyes clear out irritants such as dust, allergens, or smoke that may have accumulated during the day. While it’s vital to protect our eyes from over-exposure to UV light, our eyes do need exposure to some natural light every day to help maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.

We are here to help you on your healthy aging journey to combat age-related vision symptoms long before you reach the golden years. We wish our patients prosperity that they AGE WELL, LIVE WELL, and SEE WELL!  

Observe Healthy Aging Month by taking care of YOU!
Call TODAY to schedule your appointment.

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo

References: American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

Good Eye Health = Driving Safely

Your eyesight is considered the most important of your five senses, so it is critical to take good care of your eyes. Having good eye health is vital for safe driving, and even a slight adjustment in your eyesight affects how well you can see objects in the distance. 

What Are The Visual Functions Necessary For Driving? 

The visual field and visual acuity is the most critical factor for safe driving. Please check your local laws to find out what your vision regulations are for driving. 

Visual Field – is how wide of an area your eye can see when you focus on a central point. According to the Academy of Ophthalmology, the most commonly used in the United States is automated perimetry, where you watch for flashing lights in a unique device. 

Visual Acuity – gauges how clearly you can see and measure by reading letters on an eye chart

Color Vision – helps to identify brake lights and traffic signals. 

Conditions That Can Impact Your Eyesight While Driving 

Typical age-related eye changes can affect your eyesight and the ability to drive safely, such as dry eye or presbyopia, which may impact your ability to see the navigation system and reduce the quality of your eyesight at night. Other conditions can affect your vision while driving: 

  •  Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. Often, there are no warning signs or obvious symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, blind spots develop in your peripheral vision or, less commonly, in your central vision.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is a disease in which high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina, stealing both central and peripheral vision.
  • A Cataract is a progressive clouding of the natural lens inside the eye that causes blurry vision, glare, and halos around lights. Cataracts can also make it harder to see well at night, in bad weather, or in low light conditions that gradually diminish color vision.
  • Macular degeneration, a disease in which a part of the retina called the macula becomes damaged and causes loss of central vision.

Eye Safety Tips For Driving 

Your vision is consistently adapting to your surroundings every minute you are driving. Here are a few safety tips to help you improve your driving safety. 

  • Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car to be prepared for those bright and sunny days. Be sure that the sunglasses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wearing these types of sunglasses will improve your visual comfort on the road.  
  • Make sure your windshield and windows are clean inside and out; also, ensure your headlights and taillights are working correctly, so they light the road adequately. 
  • At night drive more slowly and avoid looking directly into the headlight of approaching cars; look slightly to the right. 
  • Constantly adjust your mirrors correctly. 
  • If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, consult with your eye doctor. This eye condition may cause you to experience light scatter. 

Our Goal Is Our Patients Lifelong Eye Health

Changes in your vision may be evident for some, while others have a gradual loss of vision that is less noticeable. Keeping your eye exam appointments with your eye doctor will ensure that you detect vision changes early and treat conditions promptly before they cause irreversible vision loss. No matter your age, if you notice any symptoms such as blurry vision, dark spots in your central or peripheral vision, or difficulty reading street signs in yourself or a loved one, don’t delay in making an appointment TODAY with your eye doctor. 

Please Drive Safely and Protect Your Eye Health!

The Eye Center of North Florida Logo

References: American Academy of Ophthalmology 

The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided on this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.