Summer is here. Long days, hot sun and UV rays leaping around like toddlers in a bounce house. The sunâ€™s damaging ultraviolet rays put your patients at risk of serious short-term and long-term eye problems but prevention is easy: Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation. But which sunglasses are up to the task of protecting those precious peepers?
Hereâ€™s some handy info to share with patients when choosing the sun-specs that will keep their eyes safe from sun damage: Look for a tag that says 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB or 100 percent protection against UV 400. The darkness of a lens, color or price doesnâ€™t necessarily indicate the strength of UV protection, so be sure to check the label.
Thereâ€™s no doubt about the consequences of not protecting our eyes from the sunâ€™s harmful rays. If eyes are exposed to strong sunlight for too long without proper protection, UV rays can burn the cornea and cause temporary blindness in a matter of hours. Long-term sun exposure is linked to more serious eye disease, such as cataracts, eye cancer, and growths on or near the eye. And a lifetime of exposure can increase the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
And consider wearing a hat with a broad brim along with your shades to complete the anti-UV ensemble. Theyâ€™ve been shown to significantly cut exposure to harmful rays as well.
Oh, and donâ€™t forget the sunscreen!
Ah, summer, when thoughts turn to time off, beaches, margaritas and oyster shooters. But an ouchy sunburn, an unexpected food allergy or worse can turn your hard-earned vacation into a less than wonderful experience. But donâ€™t worry, this is the 21st century. Thereâ€™s health tech available to ensure your vacation goes off without a hitch.
Spending some time on the shore or by the pool? Aquatic Safety Concepts iSwimband wearables are worn on the wrist and come with a free companion app that will sound an alarm on your chosen device after being submerged for 20 seconds. Perfect for anyone who might not be the strongest swimmer on the boardwalk. And of course, this doesnâ€™t replace your vigilant supervision.
Protect your skin from sunburn with wearable patches like these from Lâ€™OrÃ©al. Theyâ€™ll monitor the amount of UV you are absorbing and let you know when itâ€™s time to get out of the sun. Sorry, kids, it looks like it might be time to head inside and take a nap!
Between the rum-based drinks and the sun, itâ€™s easy to get dehydrated while vacationing. Make sure youâ€™re getting all the H2O you need with the LVL, a hydration wristband that measures hydration, heart rate, and activity. It alerts you to how much fluid you need and what type of performance boost you can expect by using an infrared light to measure water. Or you could just make sure you have one of those handy-dandy reusable water bottles with you at all times.
Most vacations mean taking a break from the usual diet, as well. If youâ€™re trying to stay gluten-free, the Nima gluten-sensor can tell you if your food contains gluten within a couple of minutes
If youâ€™ve been stricken with a weird insect bite or unexplained rash, check out tele-dermatology services like FirstDerm, SkinMDnow, and iDoc24 which connect patients to a dermatologist online for consultation within a short period of time. Usually, people can load up their photos of the affected area on a specific platform, and the dermatologists give advice based on it.
And if the an emergency does happen, be prepared with the Welloh medical app that helps you locate an urgent care, pharmacy or hospital within 30 miles of wherever you are.
Summer is the perfect season for smoothies, so why not combine a refreshing drink with some benefits for better vision? Hereâ€™s a list of the vitamins, minerals and compounds and the tasty ingredients they come in that, combined in your blender, make for a healthy punch in the eye.
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene Beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables converts to vitamin A in the body. Foods rich in beta-carotene? Think carrots, spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, dandelion greens, mangoes, apricots, pumpkins and just about all orange and yellow fruits and vegetables as well as dark, leafy greens.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin These carotenoid compounds, are also found in foods rich in beta-carotene and are known to support eye health. In fact, both lutein and zeaxanthin are actually concentrated in the retina and lens of the eye, indicating a possible biological, protective function. Broccoli, kale and spinach are good sources.
Resveratrol Carotenoids arenâ€™t the only plant compound that provides provide health benefits for the eyes. Resveratrol, found in red grapes, can protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration.
So pick your favorite ingredients, toss â€˜em in the blender, and make yourself an eye-healthy treat. Hereâ€™s a recipe we enjoy to get you started.
- 1 cup of spring water
- 1 cup red grapes
- 1 mango, pit removed
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 1 small carrot
Recent research, including a study published in the Journal of Glaucoma, is exploring the connection between dental hygiene and glaucoma. Evidence suggests that excess bacteria in the mouth could be a catalyst for the development of open-angle glaucoma and that maintaining good oral health could reduce the risk.
In addition to glaucoma, cataracts have also been linked with oral health. Toxic elements in mercury fillings have been found to cause the formation of cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, iritis, color-vision issues, and other eye conditions.
The body is a system and scientists are still working out how various microbiomes in that system can affect the body as a whole. So while you may not want to start passing out toothbrushes to patients at every visit like the dentist, information about how oral hygiene might affect their eye health could prove valuable.
Glaucoma affects nearly 60 million people worldwide, and while there isnâ€™t a cure, recent studies suggest that adopting a few some lifestyle changes may have a positive effect on eye pressure, which is a major risk factor for the disease.
Regular exercise. A recent study showed that people who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity have a 73 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. Blood flow and pressure inside the eye may change with exercise, which may affect glaucoma risk.
Eat More Leafy Greens. Another study showed that people who ate more leafy vegetables have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. Nitrates in green vegetables can be converted to nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow and help regulate pressure inside the eye.
Enjoy a Cup of Tea. Consuming tea and supplementing with magnesium have also been linked with benefits for glaucoma.
Brush and FlossDonâ€™t Smoke. If not just to lower the risk of glaucoma, then for the myriad of other health concerns linked to smoking.
Maintain a Healthy Weight. Being overweight can be a direct route to diabetes and other health issues including diabetes-related eye maladies.
Reduce Stress. Good for your eyes as well as your ticker.
If a child is having trouble reading, itâ€™s only logical for parents to bring them in for a vision check. And if the child shows 20/20 vision, itâ€™s logical to conclude the problem might originate somewhere besides the eyes. But that may not be the case, according to a recent study of Canadian children published in the Journal of Optometry.
Dr. Lisa Christian from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues performed a retrospective review of these children who had all had complete eye exams. These children also had Individual Education Plans (IEP) specifically directed at improving their reading abilities.
The authors found that while most of the children had good eyesight, a substantial proportion had binocular vision that was below the normal limits on testing, so the children may have experienced blurred images, poor depth perception, or double vision among other problems when they read.
Such problems can result from a variety of conditions, such as misaligned eyes, or poor functioning of the oculomotor muscles. A person with such problems will typically have difficulty reading â€” they may lose their place easily and develop eyestrain.
So when there is an issue with a child’s learning to read, it could be important to determine whether eye problems other than myopia are the cause.