By: Brian Oulman, OD
How often do you go to work and think, “I’m going to keep my eyes happy today?” Chances are never. However, you probably make adjustments to your devices or put on safety glasses that make your eyes feel more comfortable, thus happy.
Workplace eye injuries usually happen quickly and without warning, in fact there are thousands of eye injuries every year in the United States, some causing permanent vision loss. However, with the introduction of computers or other devices, workplace eye injuries can occur slowly by stress and strain placed on your eyes and visual system.
Let’s discuss some workplace wellness for your eyes. The most common device used to protect the eyeball are safety glasses. From hospital employees not wanting to get bodily fluids in their eye, to mechanics, even custodians, should be wearing safety glasses to protect their eyes. Welders too, should always know to wear their helmets with the appropriate shade number to protect from flash burns.
Now onto devices. They are everywhere, in every office for almost every employee and in most peoples’ hands all day long. How do devices decrease the workplace wellness? As humans, our eyes were not designed to stare at a screen, let alone 8-10 hours a day. The visual system becomes stressed out and as a consequence your vision can be affected. Lucky for patients, Central Oregon Eyecare offers the latest technology in anti-fatigue prescription lenses. Not only do they keep the visual system relaxed they also incorporate new anti-glare technology to block the harmful blue light emanating off devices. How much happier do you think your eyes could get? A bit happier, when you realize that using devices decreases your blink rate, dramatically increasing the dryness in your eye. Central Oregon Eyecare will discuss the appropriate and healthy eye drops that should be used. Now your eyes will be happy!
Think about children. Their workplace is school, right? More schools are adopting devices for children to learn on, then these children go home and use a tablet, pad or play video games: so they are on and off devices all day. Since, 80% of what children learn goes through their eyes and visual system, we should start to think more about keeping their eyes and visual system healthy and happy. Central Oregon Eyecare offers amazing lenses to give these children a focusing boost for all the time they spend on devices. The evolutionary Sync lens will decrease the chances of focusing issues while increasing the learning process. We are noticing a dramatic increase in children having dry eye problems with the increased use of devices. Allow the physicians at Central Oregon Eyecare to discuss what can be done to help.
As you can see, there are many ways to help your overall workplace wellness. When you are at work next, pay attention to how you make your eyes happy! If they are not comfortable all day long, allow Central Oregon Eyecare the opportunity to help them. Please make sure you and your loved ones have an annual eye health exam to discuss options for happy and healthy eyes for life.
by: Brian Oulman, OD
Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also known as AMD, is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. AMD destroys a part of your retina known as the Macula. The macula is responsible for your central eyesight as well as distinguishing colors. Despite the macula being as wide as a grain of rice, the importance of the macula to how we see is unmeasurable. There are 2 distinct forms of AMD, dry and wet.
Dry AMD is the slow, progressive type that usually takes years to decades to cause serious visual changes. As the name implies, there is an accumulation of dry deposits called Drusen in the macular region. The continued accumulation is what causes the eyesight damage. You may hear your eye doctor use terms such as, early, intermediate or late stage AMD to carefully determine the stage of the disease. These stages correspond to the amount of vision loss and the amount of drusen noted in the macula. There is no cure at this time for Dry AMD, however, we do know that specific eye vitamins (Lutein and Zeaxanthin), Ultraviolet protection and not smoking all help patients prevent or potentially slow the progression of the disease. Most patients diagnosed with macular degeneration have the Dry form, although, some will progress into the Wet form of AMD.
Wet AMD corresponds with a rapid decrease in vision caused by fluid in the macula. As the drusen accumulate it can progress and damage a specific barrier layer that protects the macula. If the protective layer is compromised, then new blood vessels (known as neovascularization) or actual blood can leak into the macula causing damage. Our state of the art OCT will be able to determine the extent of damage. Depending on how quickly this condition is diagnosed and treated, some eyesight may return. Yes, I did say treatment! Wet AMD has a treatment option issued by a retinal specialist. Injections are the treatment option which are designed to stop the fluid and/or the neovascularization. These injections help dry up the inside of the eye. Again, vision may or may not return, usually it’s never the same.
The Optometric Physicians at Central Oregon Eyecare have the technology to accurately diagnose and monitor this condition. We work with the top retinal specialist in Central Oregon, if injections are needed. Since AMD steals a patients’ central vision, it is important to educate those patients losing their vision to prepare for the loss of vision. There are services to help train patients on what to expect, while other services will provide home inspections and go through rooms to provide upgrade ideas to compensate for the loss of vision. AMD takes more than just eyesight, think of cooking and now imagine cooking without your eyesight. Please make sure you and your loved ones have an annual eye health exam to maintain a wonderful way of life.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older Americans, but new treatments have dramatically changed the course of this disease over the last 10 years, making AMD more manageable than ever before. During AMD Awareness Month in February, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding people with AMD that they can save their vision thanks to recent treatment advances, but early detection is a critical first step.