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Archive for May, 2012

A Few Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Eyes This Summer

Eye Protection for SummerSummertime brings with it a number of potential hazards for every member of your family’s eye health. From excessive sun exposure to chemicals in swimming pools to projectiles from lawn mowers, special consideration should be given to each summer activity with regards to eye protection and eye health.

Here are a few tips for safe-guarding the eyes of every member of your family this summer:

Wear a Hat and Sunglasses

Sun bathing in your back yard, boating on Lake Erie, spending the day at your county fair or experiencing the thrills of the roller coasters at Cedar Point all bring with them the potential for over exposure to the sun’s powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays.  Too many UV rays can cause a variety of eye problems from burned corneas to accelerating the development of cataracts.

Putting on a hat with a visor and wearing a good pair of sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays can save you from painful eye problems and distorted vision both now and in the future.  Make sure every member of the family wears a hat and proper sunglasses from the youngest child to mom and dad.

Wear Safety Goggles

Mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, building a bird house or sawing wood for the camp fire all have great potential for generating projectiles that could damage someone’s eye.  Before starting any of these activities, invest in a quality pair of safety goggles that are specifically made to protect your eyes during these types of projects. Sunglasses or your regular eyeglasses probably don’t provide the protection you need in these situations. Anyone who is helping or in the vicinity when these activities are being performed should be wearing safety goggles too.

Avoid Strong Chemicals

Swimming in a pool with too much chlorine or other chemicals can lead to red eyes, burning eyes and dry eyes.  These eye conditions can all be very uncomfortable and irritating. If your eyes start to sting or hurt when swimming, simply get out of the pool and rinse your eyes with clean water. Then, don’t go back in the pool unless the chemicals have been balanced. If burning or irritation of the eyes persists for more than a few hours, you should contact your eye doctor.

Get Eyes Examined and Talk to Your Eye Doctor

Summer is a great time to get caught up on eye exams for every member of the family. While at your eye exam, talk to your eye doctor about your family’s summertime activities and what he or she recommends to protect each family member’s precious vision.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

Keratoconus Awareness

Keratoconus Keratoconus is an eye disease in which the normally round cornea becomes thin and starts to bulge into a cone-like shape.  When this happens, light entering the eye is abnormally refracted. When the altered light reaches the retina, the result is distorted vision.

As the cornea becomes irregular in shape, it causes nearsightedness and astigmatism to develop and progress. It may also lead to light sensitivity.

Keratoconus can affect one or both eyes. When keratoconus impacts both eyes, the deterioration in vision can make it difficult to perform daily tasks such as driving and reading normal size print.

Keratoconus typically begins in the teen-age years or early 20s and progresses over time, usually reaching its peak by the age of 40.  On average, this eye condition affects one in every one thousand people. It is more prevalent in males.

What Causes Keratoconus?

While the exact cause of keratoconus has not been specifically identified, research indicates keratoconus may be linked to an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea. This imbalance causes the cornea to weaken and bulge into a cone-like shape.  The occurrence of an enzyme imbalance within the cornea may be genetic; it may be a result of the environment; or it may be a combination of both.

Keratoconus is also associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, excessive eye rubbing and chronic eye irritation.

Treating Keratoconus

With the early stages of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses often provide adequate vision correction.  As the eye condition advances into more advanced stages, rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses (RGP lenses) may be used to restore clear vision.

There are also many types of contact lenses which have been engineered specifically for keratoconus. These types of lenses are typically a blend of both soft and hard contact lenses.

In 10% to 25% of people with this eye condition, keratoconus will advance to the point where corrective lenses (either eyeglasses or contact lenses) are no longer effective.  At this point, surgery becomes necessary.

There are a variety of surgical procedures to treat keratoconus including: placing corneal inserts just under the surface of the eye; procedures for strengthening the cornea; surgical techniques for re-shaping the cornea and; corneal transplants.

Regular Eye Examinations and Advancements with Keratoconus

Eye examinations conducted on a regular basis are a very important part of maintaining optimal eye health and clear vision.  Diagnosing eye conditions like keratoconus early helps you and your eye doctor work together to develop the right treatment plan specifically for you and your needs.

Visiting your eye doctor regularly also provides you with access to the latest advancements in keratoconus research and treatment.  Much work is being done studying this eye condition. Many new tools and techniques are emerging to treat it.  Your eye doctor is a tremendous resource for gaining knowledge about these advancements and how they can help you.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

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