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Tips for Eye Health

  1. Whether it's summer or winter, always wear Ultraviolet Light (UV) blocking glasses, sunglasses or contact lenses outdoors on a sunny day. UV light causes cataracts and may possibly contribute to Macular Degeneration, an aging abnormality of the retina. UV light also causes pterygiums, a growth on the cornea that may require surgery to remove. Your eye doctor should always add UV block to all outdoor eyeglass prescriptions, whether they are sunglasses or not.

  2. Always wear Sports Safety Goggles whenever participating in contact sports or ball sports. Ocular sports injuries can be very serious. Hundreds of people lose their vision every year from games like basketball, baseball, tennis, hockey, etc. You can have your eyeglass prescription put into your goggles as well.
  3. Always wear approved safety goggles when working with any power tools such as drills and saws, or when striking objects with a hammer. Particles can come flying off the drill or hammer and strike the eye causing immediate severe damage.
  4. Always wear approved safety goggles when working with any toxic chemicals or substances that may splash into the eye accidentally. If any chemical does get into the eye, immediately rinse with large amounts of water for a long period of time. Contact your Ophthalmologist immediately after you have rinsed with water copiously.
  5. Improper care, handling, and disinfection of contact lenses can lead to severe corneal complications which can result in loss of vision which may require corneal transplant surgery to correct. Always wash your hands with clean water and soap prior to touching your contact lenses. Keep your contact case very clean by washing with a mild soap such as Baby Shampoo, and rinsing thoroughly with tap water followed by more thorough rinsing with your contact lens solution.
  6. Never put your contact lenses in your mouth - it is teeming with germs which will get on your contact lenses and infect your eye.
  7. Never store your contact lenses in saline solution since it does not kill germs. Contact lenses must be stored in a disinfecting solution. There are many types available - you should follow your doctor's instructions and the package insert very closely and without deviation.
  8. Never change your contact lens solutions without checking with your doctor first - you may be using the wrong kind for your eyes or lenses.
  9. Never rinse or store your contact lenses in water of any kind. Water can contain very potent and dangerous germs which can get into your cornea from the contact lenses.
  10. Never wear your contact lenses if your eyes do not look or feel 100% normal. If you are having blurring, pain redness, discharge, sensitivity to light, swelling or any other eye problems, wearing the contact lenses will only make the situation worse.
  11. Never swim in pools, hot tubs or natural bodies of water with your contact lenses in since the water contains many germs which can easily get on your lenses and then infect your cornea.
  12. Always stop wearing the lenses and contact your doctor immediately if there is the slightest problem with your eyes. Contact lenses, like a car, are very safe when handled properly - but can be extremely dangerous if abused.
  13. If you are diabetic, you should have at least an annual eye exam by an Ophthalmologist. Diabetic eye problems of the retina can be treated easily if caught early, but can lead to severe complications and loss of vision if treatment is delayed. It is also very important to control your blood sugars well under your doctor's supervision since this has been proven to significantly prevent long term eye complications.
  14. If you have a family history (parents, siblings or children) of glaucoma, you should have at least an annual eye exam since glaucoma often runs in families and may be clearly hereditary in some cases. Early treatment of glaucoma with a variety of eye drops is usually quite successful in preventing loss of vision. Delay of treatment can cause irreversible loss of vision. There is also an increased incidence of glaucoma over age 60 - it is therefore advisable to have at least an annual eye exam to rule out glaucoma.
  15. If you have symptoms of seeing "flashing lights" that may or may not be associated with "seeing spots" or having a blockage of part of your field of vision, you should see an Ophthalmologist immediately since these symptoms may indicate a retinal tear or retinal detachment. Retinal detachments are more common in families with a history of retinal tears, holes or detachments. Retinal detachments are also much more common in people who are very nearsighted or myopic. Detachments or tears which are caught early are easier to treat and usually have better results.
  16. Never share anyone else's eye drops or use expired eye drops, or drops that you may have used in the past for other eye problems. Each eye drop has different ingredients and is used for treating different conditions. Using the wrong eye drop may actually make matters worse. Although eye symptoms such as redness, blurring and pain may be present in a variety of conditions, the underlying causes for these symptoms are often very different and treatment with different medications is required.
  17. If you use steroids or cortisone either orally, as an eye drop or as an inhaler (for asthma or breathing problems) you should be examined by an Ophthalmologist regularly since these medications can cause cataracts and glaucoma. It is advisable to have a base line exam at approximately one month after starting these medications since that is the most likely time for glaucoma to show up, and then every 3-6 months depending on the duration and dosage of steroids you are taking.
  18. If you notice an eye turn or poor vision in your child bring them to an Ophthalmologist immediately. If you notice an unusual color to the normally black pupil in a child, bring them to an Ophthalmologist immediately as well. These signs and symptoms may be minor problems, but occasionally they can signal a very serious eye condition or neurological problem that may require immediate diagnosis and treatment.

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