Why didn’t my eye doctor tell me?
How much do you really know about eye care? Here’s a rundown of how you should treat your eyes so you can enjoy clear, healthy vision for as long as possible.
Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Delaware eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.
1.Sunglasses offer more than style
Just like you slather on the sunscreen before a day outdoors, you also need to protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Putting on a pair of trendy sunglasses will give you more than a fabulous look, it will also help safeguard your eyes against damage. Wraparound frame designs are ideal.
2.Polarized sunglasses aren’t always best
When you shop your eye clinic for sunglasses, don’t automatically reach for the ones with polarized lenses. While they are exceptional for reducing glare, they can make it near impossible to read the LCD display on your navigation system or phone. Banking at an ATM also becomes challenging when wearing polarized sunglasses.
3.Carrots are not the ultimate eye-healthy food
We’re not out to debunk your mother’s wisdom, but to let you in on a secret – dark, leafy veggies like kale and spinach are just as good, if not better for your lasting eye health than carrots. But that doesn’t mean orange and yellow foods don’t have anything to offer. Carrots, pumpkin, and other sunshine colored foods are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help protect against age-related macular degeneration.
4.Eye make-up should smell fresh
Did you know bacteria can lurk and breed in your eye cosmetics? By using old make-up, you risk exposing your eyes to nasty germs that can lead to eye infections. Rule of thumb is to toss your eye cosmetics every three months. But if you can’t bring yourself to do that, sniff the product before applying. If it has a funky “off” smell, it’s possible bacteria have taken root.
5.Eye drops are better when chilled
To prevent your eyes from stinging when inserting eye drops, store them in the refrigerator.
6.OTC eye drops aren’t always safe
Before buying eye drops off the drugstore shelf, speak to your eye doctor! Even better, visit your eye clinic for an eye exam. If you have an infection, steroid drops can clear up the redness but worsen the infection. Your eye doctor will recommend the best type of eye drops for your condition.
7.Don’t be afraid of the dark
You may be surprised to hear that reading in dim light won’t damage your eyes. However, you may get a headache.
8.Eyeglasses need special care
Tissues and toilet paper aren’t made for cleaning your glasses. Think about it, paper is made from wood, which can scratch your lenses. Soft and silky microfiber cloths are best.
9.Smoking can affect your eyes
Everyone knows about the effects of smoking on the lungs and heart, but did you know smoking has also been linked with the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Cigarette smokers are at a 4x greater risk of being blinded by AMD than non-smokers – and even more frightening is that the risk lasts for up to a decade after you quit smoking.
10.Over 60? Get LASIK after you have a cataract
If your insurance is paying for cataract removal surgery, your eye doctor can fix your vision at the same time. Also, if your finances make it hard to get cataracts removed as soon as they are diagnosed, waiting is rarely dangerous. Cataracts may blur your view, but generally they won’t hurt you.
11.Pink eye isn’t always harmless
Pink eye can be caused by various culprits, including bacteria and viruses. If you have pink eye as a result of a bacterial infection, you need antibiotic treatment. Leaving it untreated can lead to lasting problems, such as light sensitivity or vision loss.
12.Keep your feet cold, not your face
Aim the a/c vents in your car at your feet, not at your eyes. Hot and cold dry air from car a/c units can rob your eyes of all moisture, leading to dry eye syndrome and an increased risk of eye infection.
13.Regular eye exams are a must
We know the typical question – “Why should I visit my eye clinic until I have a problem?” The answer is that many sight-threatening eye diseases don’t have symptoms until they’ve already damaged your vision permanently. A yearly routine eye exam is the only way to spot the signs of certain problems early on.
14.Don’t sleep in extended-wear contacts
Even though they’re called extended-wear, these contact lenses post a 10-15x greater risk of eye infection if you sleep in them. It’s best to remove them before bed.
Looking for more eye care tips? Head to your eye clinic to learn more about how to benefit from clear vision and healthy eyes.
Kristin L. Campbell, OD, your Delaware eye doctor for eye exams and eye care
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