How to protect your eyes outdoors The sun releases energy (radiation) in many forms. The sunlight we see, the heat we feel, and ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can cause sunburn and damage to your eyes. There are two types of UV rays both invisible to the eye; UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-A rays can cause harm to your central vision by damaging your macular. The macula is part of the retina at the back of your eye. UV-B rays effect the front part of your eye (the cornea and the lens). While both UV-A and UV-B rays can cause damage too your eyes UV-B does cause more. When you’re exposed to an excessive amount of UV-rays and have minimal eye protection you run the risk of developing Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Pterygium, Skin Cancer, and Corneal Sunburn.
The two best ways to avoid harmful UV rays is to understand the dangers and to wear proper eye protection that blocks the UV rays. While these rays radiate directly from the sun they also reflect from the ground, water, snow, sand, and other bright surfaces. This leaves everyone, including children, at risk of developing eye damage from UV radiation. If you are someone who spends long periods of time out in the sun you are at the greatest risk.
Choosing proper eye protect can help filter light and protect your eyes from the harmful UV radiation. When deciding on a pair of sunglasses there are multiple things that you should look for. Sunglasses that reduce glare, filter out 99-100% of UV rays, protect your eyes, are comfortable, and do not distort colors. Children are no exception to UV radiation exposure and should also make sure they have protective eyewear. For certain outdoor activities, you may also have to use eyewear designed to provide impact protection for that activity. Please see the list below of a few outdoor activities and consider the type of eyewear protection you might need.
Biking/Cycling: UV protection and protection from wind and debris Boating: UV and glare protection Skiing/winter sports: UV protection, polarized lenses to reduce glare and brightness, and yellow, amber, orange-red tints to improve contrast Hiking/Mountain Climbing: UV protection and polarized lenses to reduce glare Racquet/Ball Sports: Protection eyewear and UV protection Working Outdoors with Powertools/Chemicals: Protective eyewear and UV protection.
Protect Your Eyes from the Sun. (2019). Retrieved September 27, 2019, from https://www.preventblindness.org/protect-your-eyes-sun.
Proper Contact Lens Hygiene Proper care is necessary for successful contact lens wear, normal lens life, and good eye health. Your doctor will provide you with products to clean, disinfect, and store your lenses. To be fit for contact lenses our office requires that our patients complete all three components of the eye examination: medical exam, refraction, and contact lens measurements. Even if one is an experienced contact lens wearer all three components of the examination must be completed. Patients are provided with their contact lenses during their initial fitting.
New Patients and New Contact Lens Wearers: Contact lenses are medical devices that are placed on the eye. It is important that we determine that they are properly fit, that they are not compromising corneal health, and that there are no other problems related to the wearing time or infection. Once ordered, our opticians will spend time educating you on insertion, removal, proper care and your own specific wearing regimen. Once dispensed, we will be seeing you for a series of follow-up appointments over the next 90 days to confirm that you are correctly fit. After 90 days, you may order replacement lenses from us or any other vendor of your choice. We will be happy to provide you with a contact lens prescription once we are confident you are correctly fit. Contact lens prescriptions are good for one year.
We recommend that all of our contact lens patients have a pair of glasses on hand. After your refraction you will be given a copy of your glasses prescription. This prescription is good for two years. Additionally, wearing sunglasses is an important product to one’s eyes from UV rays. Sometimes contact lenses make one more sensitive to bright light. If you only wear contact lenses occasionally, then you will need a pair of prescription sunglasses.
Established Patients and Long-Time Contact Lens Wears: If you currently wear contact lenses, we recommend an annual medical eye examination to ensure the health of the eye and the fit of the lenses. Moreover, from year to year there is often a change in vision and there may need to be a correction made in your contact lens or glasses prescriptions. If there is a significant change in your refraction, a second contact lens examination may be required by our contact lens specialist. The process for fitting and dispensing an updated pair of contact lenses is identical to the initial process described previously. Once this process is complete, we would once again be pleased to have you reorder your lenses through our dispensary or provide you with your contact lens prescription to be used with any other vendor.
BASIC DO’S AND DON’TS DO use only solutions recommended by your doctor. DO check for lens damage before each wear. DO replace your contact lens case once a month to avoid infection. DO keep all of your follow-up appointments and annual eye exams. DO wear sunglasses with proper UV protection. DO have a spare pair of glasses on hand. DO carry your prescriptions when traveling. DO call us if you have questions or problems. DO call to reorder before you run out of disposable lenses.
DON’T wet your lenses with your saliva. DON’T rub your eyes when wearing your lenses. DON’T insert a lens from a packet that is damaged. DON’T forget to clean and disinfect non-disposable lenses.
The solution give to you by your provider is prescribed specifically for your lenses and eyes. Since they can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another, do not change or substitute brands unless you check with your doctor first. Use of improper solutions may result in lens damage or eye irritation. The adaptability of your eyes is the key factor in determining wearing time. Do not exceed the wearing. Do not exceed the wearing schedule that is prescribed for you. Remember, like any medical device, contact lenses must be monitored on a regular basis. Professional follow up care is the most important element in successful long-term lens wear. Please keep your scheduled appointments.
In the beginning it is normal if: 1) Your eye itch or feel funny 2) One lens is more noticeable then the other 3) Your vision seems fuzzier than with glasses 4) You have trouble handling your lenses Remove your lenses immediately if: 1) You develop unusual pain or redness 2) You develop unusual foggy or cloudy vision 3) You experience a decrease in vision 4) You suspect something is wrong
Protecting your eyes while on the computer Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum. Blue light is everywhere in our world and it a short wavelength that produces high amounts of energy. The sun use to be the only source of blue light. However, now we have brought blue light inside by the way of digital screens (found on TV’s, smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets, and gaming systems), electronic devices, LED and fluorescent lighting.
You can minimize the amount of blue light that enters your eyes by wearing glasses the filter some of these harmful rays. Morris Eye Group offers a high-quality blue light lens that eliminates a portion of the short wavelength.
Children’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to the effects of blue light as virtually all of the blue light they are exposed to passes through their cornea and lens and reaches their retina. Coupled with a high amount of screen time, this puts them at risk for over-exposure to blue light that may prove to have long-term consequences. Recommended below are some safe technology habits for you and the entire family:
• Say goodnight to technology two hours before bedtime. • Limit children’s screen time to one to two hours per day for children over two years of age and restricting it completely for children under two years old. • Turn down the brightness of your device. • Change digital device background colors from bright white to warmer colors to reduce
Importance of Artificial Tears Artificial tears are considered a first-line therapy for dry eye. They increase tear volume and lubricate the ocular surface. They often provide temporary relief of irritation symptoms in many dry eye conditions. Tears can be used on an as-needed basis by most dry eye patients. Patients with severe conditions should be instructed to use artificial tears on a regular basis (every 1–2 hours) and to increase the frequency of instillation when reading or when they are exposed to dry or drafty environments, until a more definitive treatment can be instituted. Stephen C. Pflugfelder, Gregory R. Nettune, in Ocular Surface Disease: Cornea, Conjunctiva and Tear Film, 2013
Most common causes of eye injuries to children at home Each year, thousands of children age 14 and younger suffer serious eye injuries, even blindness, from toys. Some of the most common eye injuries children experience at home are:
• Misuse of toys • Falling from their bed or into furniture • Misuse of everyday tools and objects • Contact with harmful household products • Automobile accidents.
Below are a few safety tips to help protect your children indoors: - Use safety gates at the top/bottom of stairs - Provide lights/handrails to improve safety on stairs - Pad/cushion sharp corners and edges of furnishing and home fixtures - Install cabinet and drawer locks in kitchen and bathrooms - Store personal-use items (cosmetics, toiletry products), kitchen utensils, and desk supplies out of reach for children - Keep paints, pesticides, and fertilizers, and similar products properly stored in a secure area
Below are a few safety tips to help protect your children with their toys: - Read all warnings and instructions on toys - Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, shafts, spikes, rods, and dangerous edges - Keep toys intended for older children away from younger children - Avoid flying toys and projectile-firing toys; that pose potential eye hazards - Keep BB guns away from kids Protecting young children from eye injuries at home and at play. (2019). Retrieved September 27, 2019, from https://www.preventblindness.org/protecting-young-children-eye-injuries-home-and-play.
Hazardous activities at home that you should be wearing protective eye wear for Wearing protective eyewear can help prevent 90 percent of eye injuries. It is important to make sure that your home has at least one approved pair and that you and your family members wear the eyewear when involved in hazardous activity. There are over 125,000 eye injuries each year using common household products such as oven cleaner and bleach for cleaning and other chores. When you are cooking foods that can splatter hot grease or oil you should make sure you have protective eyewear. Other hazardous activities you should protect your eyes from are: - Drilling or hammering screws or nails into walls or hard surfaces like brick or cement - Mowing the lawn. - Using a power trimmer or edger. - Using tools (power or hand). - Working with solvents or other chemicals. - Any task that can produce fragments, dust particles or other eye irritants. Eye Injuries at Home. (2016, April 14). Retrieved September 27, 2019, from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-in-home.