Health Blog - Page 5 of 7 - All About Eyes

Eye Twitching Causes and Treatments – Myokymia

Sarah Quinn Conditions, Eye Health Comments Off
Eye Twitching Cheif Inspector Charles Dreyfus

Eye Twitching Cheif Inspector Charles Dreyfus

We’ve all had that feeling: our eyelid starts twitching randomly and we are certain we look like Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus of Pink Panther fame, only to be told by friends and family that they don’t see anything. But you certainly feel it and it’s annoying at best. Usually, it goes away as quickly as it appears, but sometimes that twitchy feeling can last for a couple of weeks, and that can be alarming.

Myokymia (mahy-uh-kim-ee-uh), the medical term for eye twitching, is an involuntary spasm of eyelid muscles. It usually only affects the lower eyelid, although the upper lid can be affected as well. While largely a benign condition in and of itself, the twitching can be symptomatic of other underlying issues and the chances are good that addressing those issues will resolve the eye spasms. The Mayo Clinic says culprits like overuse of alcohol, too much caffeine, lack of sleep, not enough water (dehydration), too much stress, and anxiety are the usual underlying suspects.

Dr. Cheryl Roell, an optometrist at All About Eyes, says another contributing factor to myokymia is a lack of Vitamin D and suggests increasing this vital nutrient in your diet may help to alleviate the spasms. Vitamin D is found in exposure to sunlight, some foods (see the National Institutes of Health for a complete listing), and dietary supplements.

Other irritants can trigger myokymia, such as smoking, wind, and bright lights. Conditions such as pink eye (conjunctivitis), dry eyes, and low-level allergic reactions can cause eye twitching as well. In the case of allergies, an antihistamine can help relieve both the allergies and the eye twitches.

Other home remedies include applying a warm compress to the affected eye, to relax the muscle, and increasing self-care: bed rest, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, and drinking plenty of water. If these measures still don’t do the trick, then a visit to your eye care specialist is in order, as they can help to rule out other, more serious conditions.

Very rarely, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, persistent eye twitching can be an indicator of brain or nerve disorders such as Bell’s Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, or Multiple Sclerosis.

If you experience persistent eye twitching for longer than a week, it involves other facial muscles, closes an eyelid, is accompanied by discharge, or you develop a droopy upper eyelid along with the twitching, you should see your eye doctor straight away.


Eye Injury Prevention in the Workplace

Sarah Quinn Eye Safety, Products Comments Off

Eye injuries at work are expensive for employers, obviously painful and disruptive for employees, and largely preventable. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that 90 percent of all eye injuries could be avoided by simply wearing proper eye protection. 

While most eye injuries occur in manufacturing and construction industries due to flying debris and chemicals, Prevent Blindnes, a volunteer eye health and safety group, cautions that overuse of digital devices is fast becoming a problem as well. The group says nine-in-ten adults spend more than two hours a day on a digital device such as a cell phone or computer, and one-in-ten will spend 75 percent of their waking days on a device. This is leading to eye strain, neck and back pain, as well as headaches. Other symptoms of eye strain include dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, and eye fatigue. 

Selection of Protective Eyewear

Selection of Protective Eyewear at All About Eyes

Workplace eye injuries cost employers an estimated $300 million a year on lost productivity, medical expenses, and workers compensation insurance claims, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The typical cost of protective eyewear can range from $10 on up to $250 for more specialized and prescription frames. When nearly 1,000 injuries happen in the workplace every day, it’s a small price to pay for keeping eyes safe. 

All About Eyes has recently received new protective eyewear to choose from as well as OSHA approved profession-specific eyewear. Why not stop in at our offices to see which frames will work for you?

 


Looking at a Computer Screen can Damage your Eyes

AllAboutEyes Eye Health, Eye Safety Comments Off

We mention this topic often, but it’s an important one – looking at a computer screen for long periods of time is not good for your eyes (or your neck and back). So if you have a job or a hobby that puts you in front of a monitor, take a look at this infographic from the folks at Vision Eye Institute in Sydney, Australia to learn what you can do to help protect yourself when staring a monitor. 

Computer-Eyes-Infographic-part-2-189x300


Go Outside and Play!

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“Go outside and play!” is a familiar phrase most people have heard or used at some point in their lives. And it turns out, it’s an important one, as it may help to reduce the effects of myopia.

Recent research is showing a worldwide upward trend for cases of childhood myopia, an eye condition where distant objects appear blurry. According to a paper appearing this month in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s journal, Ophthalmology, it is believed that 50 percent of the world’s population will be myopic by 2050. That’s half the people on the planet, with Asia leading the way, followed by North America.

Given the usage of computers, handheld electronic devices, and television, it’s not too far of a leap to think that too much screen time – or other “near work” like reading – is contributing to this trend. But researchers have been expanding that assumption to consider the possibility that it’s not so much the intense focusing on things up close causing the problem: it’s that those activities are largely done indoors and perhaps it’s a lack of sunlight, specifically, Vitamin D and ultraviolet B rays (UVB), contributing to the rise in myopia.

Lead researcher, Donald Mutti, OD, Ph.D., from the Ohio State University College of Optometry, has been conducting studies into childhood myopia. He notes that children’s eyes are still developing during the ages of five and nine and that the growth causes the distance between the lens and the retina to lengthen, leading to nearsightedness. He hypothesizes that outdoor sunlight stimulates a release of the hormone dopamine from the retina that may slow how fast the eye grows.
Being outdoors 10-14 hours per week may reduce instances of myopia.

Simply by going outside, sunlight will help to slow the growth of the eye and may help to combat myopia. Kathryn Rose, a leading international researcher of visual disorders at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences, says 10-14 hours a week should do it.

So go outside and play!


Flirting with Your Eyes

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You can’t hide it – your eyes give you away! Take a look at these 31 flirty tips to discover how your eyes are the most flirtatious form of body language. (Brought to us by Optilase.com)

Eye Contact - The Most Flirtatious Form of Body Language
Courtesy of: Optilase.com

Foods You Can Eat to Protect Your Eyesight

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blueberries are good for eyesightDid you know you can help protect your vision with the foods you eat? By making the right choices at mealtime, you can maintain healthy eyesight. From berries to broccoli to wild salmon, there are thirteen foods that can reduce the risk of cataracts, protect your retina, and decrease the risk of eye infections.

  • Acai
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Leafy Greens
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Red Meat
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Wild Salmon

Check out this recent article from The Daily Meal to learn how all thirteen delicious foods will help keep your eyes healthy.


The Benefits of Blue Blocking Lenses

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You may have heard that blue light is bad for you. But what does that mean and what can you do to protect yourself?

What is blue light?

light-bulbOn the electromagnetic spectrum, blue light has a shorter wavelength than other visible light. According to Harvard Medical School, blue wavelengths boost attention, reaction times, and mood – beneficial if you are getting things done during the day, but disruptive if you are trying to fall asleep. Electronic devices like computer screens, laptops, and cell phones emanate blue light. Light from compact fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights also produce more blue light than traditional light bulbs.

Why is blue light disruptive?

Blue light signals your body to lower the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that helps your circadian rhythms – it sets your body’s internal clock so you go to sleep and wake up on a schedule.  The disruption of your melatonin production can cause you to have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, particularly if you use your electronic devices 2-3 hours before bedtime. If your melatonin production is lowered over a long period of time (think of people who work the night shift or who live very far north where it’s daylight for months at a time), this disruption can have long term effects such as depression, cancer, age related macular degeneration or diabetes.

What can I do to protect myself?

The good news is that scientists have created an affordable coating for eyeglasses that helps block blue light. If you work on a computer all day, you look at a digital screens in the evening, or your job requires you to work second or third shifts, we have eyeglasses that can help block blue light so you can protect your circadian rhythms and ultimately your health.

According to a study at John Carroll University, blue coated eye glasses improve rates of depression, seasonal affective disorder, and even decrease ADHD symptoms in some people.

Unlike yellow or orange lenses that also block blue light (remember that sunglasses commercial from the early 1980’s?), today’s lens coating doesn’t change the colors of objects. In fact, the coating is often just one of many that help reduce glare, protect your eyes from UV radiation and resist scratching. By wearing blue blocking lenses, you will likely find you experience less eye strain, headaches, and eye fatigue.

Consider blue blocking lenses for your next pair of eye glasses. We’re happy to show you samples of lenses and answer your questions so you can make an educated decision about your vision and your health.


Celebrate National Sunglasses Day!

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Why-Wear-SunglassesHelp us celebrate National Sunglasses Day on June 27, 2015 by wearing your sunglasses every time you step outside. Whether it’s a sunny day or a cloudy afternoon, your eyes need the protection that sunglasses provide. You’ll want to chose a pair of sunglasses that are comfortable, provide maximum protection from UV rays (look for labels that say the lenses block 99-100% of UV rays), and are the right style for the activities you participate in. To help pick the right type of sunglasses for your lifestyle, The Vision Council provides sunglasses recommendations for adults, teens, and kids. Of course, you can always stop by our office and one of our associates will be happy to help you choose the right pair.

Who wears sunglasses?

Did you know that your age plays a big part in how frequently you wear sunglasses? According to The Vision Council’s report Protection for the Naked Eye: Sunglasses as a Health Necessity, if you were born between 1965 and 1980, you wear sunglasses more often than any other living generation? Overall, 25% of Americans wear sunglasses rarely or never. That’s 1 in 4 Americans who are at risk for sun damage to their eyes every time they are outdoors. Children are particularly susceptible to sun damage because they are outside more often and have larger pupils than adults.

 What are possible affects of sun exposure to your eyes?

Except for squinting due to glare, you don’t feel immediate affects of the sun on your eyes, so it’s understandable that you may not think the sun is harmful. Because the affects of the sun are often delayed, you may not associate age-related vision problems to years of sun exposure. Common vision problems that can be prevented by wearing sunglasses include: 

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Sunburned eyes

Learn more about the five main reasons you should wear sunglasses in the summer, but don’t put your sunglasses away when winter rolls around. Seeing life through tinted sunglasses doesn’t just make you look cool, it keeps your eyes healthy!

Join in the Celebration

With prescription sunglasses, sport sunglasses, polarized sunglasses in hundreds, if not thousands of styles and colors, it’s easier than ever to join in the celebration. Just remember to always buy a pair that blocks 99-100% of UV rays. If they don’t block rays, they won’t protect your eyes.

Stop by our office on June 27th to show off your sunglasses!

 

 


7 Myths About Lasik that are Absolutely Not True

AllAboutEyes Lasik, Procedures Comments Off

This month’s post about the lasik myths is written by a guest blogger and is approved by Dr. Dave and Dr. Cheryl.

blue-eyeClose to 700,000 LASIK procedures are performed every year by qualified eye surgeons.  Even though there have been so many procedures, certain misconceptions about LASIK surgery still remain. We’re going to dispel them right now.

Myth #1 – LASIK is painful

This is one of the biggest myths about LASIK. It comes from a fear of lasers. After all, a laser being used to shape your cornea has got to hurt, right?  In reality, the entire affected area is numbed by special eye drops.  While the doctor is working on your eye you may feel some pressure, but the process is pain-free.

Myth #2 – LASIK is for presbyopia

LASIK is a procedure which has been used on people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, but it is not completely effective for presbyopia. Presbyopia is caused by the hardening of the eye’s lens, not the shape of the eyes.  Fortunately, presbyopia can be treated with the use of reading glasses and other measures.

Myth #3 – LASIK can cause you to go blind

To date, there have been no cases of blindness which have been associated with LASIK surgery.  In fact, there is only a small chance of any major complications happening after the surgery, and none of them have involved blindness. LASIK only affects the top surface of the eye, not the deeper structures. LASIK is a safe procedure which has been done or at least twenty years.

Myth #4 – After LASIK, you will never need eyeglasses or contacts for the rest of your life

The LASIK procedure is effective for astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness and can remove the need for prescription lenses. However, it cannot prevent problems which happen over the normal passage of time, like presbyopia.  Other issues unrelated to the shape of the eye can also surface.

Myth #5 – Every LASIK surgery is the same

When planning to get the LASIK procedure done, it’s best to take a look at what you’re getting within the procedure.  There are some ‘no-frills’ doctors out there who offer only the surgery without the aftercare at a cheaper price.  Other doctors offer packages which are more pricey, but all inclusive.  This is your only pair of eyes, so it’s always suggested that you err on the side of caution. Studies show that when adequate pre-care and aftercare are performed, the results are much better.

Myth #6 – The LASIK machine does all the work, not the doctor, so it doesn’t matter which one you choose.

This is much like saying that a piano will sound the same regardless of whether a 3-year-old is playing it or a concert pianist is at the keys.  The surgeon makes the difference in the surgery. The doctor determines where to cut, how to cut, how to create the flap, and a lot of other factors which contribute to a positive outcome.  The doctor is also responsible for the pre-care and the aftercare of the patients. Do your research!

Myth #7 – Everyone can get LASIK

There is an in-depth screening process which most eye doctors go through to determine whether the patient is a good candidate for LASIK.  The patient must be over 18 and display signs of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.  The patient must be in good health and not have any special risk factors. To find out whether you’re a good candidate for LASIK, check with your qualified LASIK doctor.

If you are considering getting LASIK surgery, keep an open mind and be resistant to the many myths which have been floating around about the procedure.  Search for a doctor, ask questions, and make sure that you trust your gut.  Remember that not every doctor is perfect for every patient, so don’t be afraid to keep looking if you don’t like your options.

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Emily Hunter is a SEM Strategist and Outreach Supervisor at the Marketing Zen Group and works closely with Eyecare2020. She loves designing strategies with her team and is excited about spreading the Zen gospel. In her spare time, she cheers for Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, crafts her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen

 


Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

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eye infected with conjunctivitisPink eye is a very common, easily treatable condition that causes the thin covering of the eye and/or the inside of the eyelid to become red and inflamed.

If you wear contacts and suspect you have pink eye, you should remove them and wear only your glasses until you have been diagnosed and treated, otherwise you risk reinfecting your eyes with contaminated contact lenses.

Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

There are three types of pink eye: bacterial, viral, and allergic. Your eye doctor will determine what type of pink eye you have and will prescribe the necessary treatment.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by touching something that someone also infected by bacterial pink eye has touched and then touching the eye. It’s very contagious and must be treated with antibiotic eye drops. Symptoms include a yellow, sticky discharge from the eye and redness.

Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus, also is contagious through coughing and sneezing, but will clear up on its own without treatment. Symptoms include watery, red, itchy eyes.

Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when dust, dander or other fine substance enters the eye and causes an allergic reaction. It is not contagious, and unlike bacterial or viral conjunctivitis which can appear in one or both eyes, it always occurs in both eyes. Symptoms are similar to viral conjunctivitis but the itchiness is worse.  Allergy medicine can help reduce the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

 

Prevention

To prevent contracting or spreading pink eye

  • Do not share contact lenses, sunglasses, towels or washcloths.
  • If you have a cold or the flu, sneeze into your elbow to keep germs from becoming airborne.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes or your face.
  • If you wear contacts, replace them with new lenses at the assigned time to avoid bacterial buildup that can lead to conjunctivitis.
  • If you have seasonal allergies, begin allergy treatment before symptoms appear.

 

If you experience any of the symptoms of pink eye, call Dr. Dave or Dr. Cheryl at 609-653-9933 immediately to schedule an appointment so that you can receive an accurate diagnosis and start treatment right away.