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Eye Care: Think Twice Before You Rub Your Eyes

It’s only natural: something itches, you scratch it. But when that something is your eyes, you may want to think twice about letting nature take its course. That’s because while rubbing your eyes may give you a momentary sense of relief, in the long term it can also have dangerous and harmful side effects.

Sound alarming? Well, instead of rubbing your eyes, let us help open them to better eye care with our short guide to the dangers of eye rubbing.

Risk of infection

Unless you’re an acrobat, chances are you aren’t rubbing your eyes with your elbow. And that’s too bad, because your elbow is much less dangerous than what you’re actually using for temporary relief: your finger. Rubbing your eyes with dirty hands can lead to infections, including pink eye and worse. While some of the risk can be mitigated by good hygiene, if you rub your eyes, you’re always going to place yourself at a higher risk of eye infection no matter how carefully you wash your hands.

Potential for injury

There are many reasons your eyes might be itchy, but one of the most obvious is that something actually is in your eye. If there is a foreign particle in your eye, however, rubbing is the least effective and most dangerous way to get it out. In most cases, your body’s natural defense mechanisms – in this case, tears – will take care of the problem, but if not, try using eye drops. If you do rub your eyes, that particle could end up scratching your cornea or otherwise injuring your eye. And that’s going to feel much worse for much longer than even the most annoying dust particle.

Long-term side effects

Rubbing your eyes now and again is one thing, but consistently rubbing your eyes over a long period of time has its own set of risks. Medical studies have shown that chronic eye rubbing can lead to a thinning of the cornea. That in turn can lead to recurring infections, or worse, a condition known as keratoconus, which causes a deterioration of vision that often cannot be reversed or fully corrected.

Those pesky dark circles

You know those dark circles under someone’s eyes that make them appear they haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in weeks? Well, they may not have, because often those circles are caused by rubbing your eyes while asleep. Rubbing your eyes can break the small blood vessels in your eyelids, leading to those dark circles. If you’re waking up with dark circles, try wearing an eye mask to bed – and try to avoid rubbing your eyes during the day, too.

It doesn’t work

Ironically, rubbing your eyes to relieve the itching releases even more histamines. This actually makes the itching even worse. So if rubbing your eyes doesn’t even work, is it really worth taking all these risks? We didn’t think so.


Information from Essilor

7 Sins of Contact Lens Wearers

They’re no wrath or lust, but these bad habits can leave you with nasty eye infections.
Seven a.m. You hit snooze, wake up, get dressed and brush your teeth. You comb your hair, throw in your contacts, slug some coffee and leave for the day. That quick minute devoted to putting in your contacts may seem as routine and insignificant as choosing a travel mug for your coffee. But think about it: You are placing a custom-fitted, doctor-prescribed plastic device on your fragile mucus membrane, likely allowing you to see your best.

 

“Give the contact lens respect,” says Christine Sindt, an optometrist in Iowa City, Iowa. Contacts are so commonplace and frequently used that we sometimes don’t see them as a medical device, she says, although that’s exactly what they are. And while she believes contacts are a wonderful invention – if not a luxury – “when things go wrong, they go very, very wrong and can be visually devastating.” Think infections, which can range from redness and oozing to vision problems possibly leading to blindness. No thanks. Contact wearers, avoid these common mistakes to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

 

You don’t wash your hands before handling your lenses. Hand washing is the most important step in keeping your contact lenses and eyes healthy, says Sindt, who is also an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology and director of the Contact Lens Service at the University of Iowa. Think about all the germy things you touch throughout the day – countertops, door handles, keyboards. Their microbes will transfer from your fingers to your contact lens and then to your eye. This can cause huge problems for your eyes, like nasty infections that may damage your sight.

 

So get washing. Right before handling your contact lenses, wash your hands thoroughly with a clear soap that’s free of residues, like moisturizers, Sindt says. And a five-second rinse doesn’t cut it. As you’re scrubbing, Sindt suggests singing the entire birthday song (silently, if you prefer). The length of this song is about how long you should be washing your hands.

After washing and before touching your contacts, dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Water and its microbes are no good for our eyes.
You don’t completely replace yesterday’s contact solution. Instead, you leave the old liquid in the little bowls and top it off with a squirt of fresh solution. You’re not alone in this offense. Of the 1,000 contact wearers polled for a recent study conducted by Wakefield Research for Alcon, 96 percent admitted to frequently reusing or topping off old solution. Here’s the problem: When a contact sits and soaks in solution, the mixture becomes depleted of its organism-killing biocide, rendering it ineffective for disinfecting your lenses, Sindt says. Opt for only fresh solution with every use, and don’t fill the wells of the case with just enough solution to submerge the lenses. Fill the entire bowls with solution to fully disinfect the contacts.

 

You skip the rub. After you take out your contacts, before plopping in that super fresh, filled-to-the brim solution, give them each a little five-second rub between your fingers, Sindt says. This rub will help remove deposits that have become stuck to the lens.

 

You wear a pair of contacts for a longer amount of time than you should. Although contacts are prescribed medical devices, 84 percent of the participants in the Alcon poll said they wear their contacts longer than the recommended time. Whether it’s every day or after 10 wears, replace your contacts as frequently as your doctor tells you to avoid irritated, possibly infected, eyes.

 

You rinse your lens case with water (or not at all). Each day, dump out the used solution, rinse the case with contact solution and wipe it out with a clean towel after every use. Then store the case with its caps removed. “Anything that can live in your eye will not live in a dry contact lens case,” Sindt says. “When you just have your old solution in there with the caps on, it’s just like a little petri dish.”

 

You pop your contact lens in your mouth when if falls out. Just about every contact wearer has been there: Your lens falls out while you’re away from home. It’s a tricky problem if you don’t have solution, a spare lens or a pair of glasses nearby. Besides being prepared with these items stored at your office, car or purse, there are no great solutions to this problem. But there is one terrible idea. In perhaps a quick attempt to lubricate the lens, many folks will put it in their mouth before sticking it back into their eye. Given that our spit has about 60,000 bacteria per drop, Sindt identifies this solution as “the worst possible thing you can do.”

 

You use generic contact lens solutions. “The generic versions aren’t formulated with today’s contact lens materials in mind,” Sindt says, adding that many of these generic solutions were formulated decades ago. Talk with your doctor to identify which solution works best with your specific lenses. If your solution isn’t compatible, you may end up with dry, red, itchy eyes or contacts that don’t last as long.


Information from US News Health

Nutrition and Safety Glasses: Protecting Your Eyes

Moreland Eyecare is your source for safety glasses and goggles.

Moreland Eyecare is your source for safety glasses and goggles.

To keep our eyes working at their best, we need to give them a little attention — and avoid hazards and careless acts that can do our eyes harm. First, let’s learn how nutrition can help fortify your eyes.

Nutrition

Vitamin A — For generations, mothers have told their children to eat their carrots to see better at night. Well, maybe so, maybe not. Actually, this bit of folk wisdom is a slightly distorted version of a known scientific fact. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, and one of the early symptoms of a deficiency of this nutrient is night blindness. That’s not the same, however, as saying that eating carrots will make normal night vision even better.

But there’s no refuting that vitamin A is essential to healthy eyes and normal eyesight. Chronic, severe vitamin A deficiency causes a condition called xerophthalmia, or drying of the eye. It affects the cornea, the transparent covering that allows light to enter the eye. In xerophthalmia, the normally clear and glistening cornea becomes extremely dry. If left untreated, this condition can lead to blindness. Xerophthalmia afflicts some 3 million children each year in developing countries. Up to 250,000 of them end up permanently blind — a tragedy that could be prevented by an adequate diet or supplementation with vitamin A.

Antioxidants — Antioxidants are much in the news these days because of evidence that they may prevent some of the biological deterioration that comes with aging. Researchers believe antioxidants benefit the body by preventing cell damage caused by oxidation. (Oxidation is a natural process that occurs as part of normal cell functioning. The process is similar to the browning effect that happens to cut fruit left exposed to air too long.)

Besides reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, antioxidants — along with zinc — may help protect against macular degeneration, a serious eye disease associated with aging. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) by the National Institutes of Health found that high levels of antioxidant vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, and E significantly reduced the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in those already at high risk for advanced disease. However, the study did not produce evidence that antioxidants are protective against the development of cataracts.

Minerals — In addition to antioxidants, certain minerals are also thought to be connected to eye health. Zinc, for example, has been shown to help reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that taking high levels of zinc, along with high levels of antioxidant vitamins, reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25 percent.

Avoiding Dangers and Accidents

Eye injuries can happen most anywhere. Experts say that 90 percent of eye injuries could be prevented. What it takes is a little extra vigilance in situations that make your eyes vulnerable. Here are a few of them:

At play — Whether it’s an errant fishing line, a bouncing ball, a recoiling bungee cord, or flying campfire sparks, recreational settings present serious eye-injury risks. The best way to play it safe is to be alert. Pay keen attention to what you’re doing and what’s going on around you.

Sports-related eye injuries number at least 200,000 a year, with baseball, basketball, tennis, squash, and hockey players being the most susceptible. When you’re on the field, court, or rink, wear protective glasses that protect you from the front and all sides. Glasses made of polycarbonate or another sturdy plastic are best.

In the home workshop — Flying wood chips, ricocheting nails, splashing paint thinner — these are but a few of the dangers posed by do-it-yourself jobs at home. Wearing protective eyewear may seem like a hassle, but it also might save your sight. Here is some of the gear to choose from:

Safety glasses. These cost only a few dollars and offer protection when you’re hammering or using hand tools or slow-moving electric tools. Look for a logo that indicates the glasses have passed safety tests. Those made from polycarbonate will be the most impact resistant. Be sure the glasses have side shields, too, to deflect objects coming at you from the sides. If you need to wear prescription eyeglasses, you can also get prescription safety glasses.

Safety goggles. These protect you from debris flying at you from all directions. Thus, goggles give you the most all-around protection when you’re working with tools, chemicals, and so on.

Full-face shields. These are a good idea when you’re using a lathe or router, for instance. If you’re welding, be sure the shield has special shading to protect your eyes from the bright light. Because a shield doesn’t protect against heavy impact or from objects that might fly up or around the shield, you should always use safety glasses or goggles under the shield.

Yardwork — Many people have discovered the hard way that even a simple chore such as mowing the lawn can lead to eye injury. Thousands of eye wounds result from stones or twigs being spit out by lawn mowers. So it’s a good idea to wear goggles to ward off flying debris. The same holds when you’re trimming hedges; branches can snap back and hit you in the eye. And when you’re using a chain saw, both a face shield and safety goggles are essential.

Other home or fix-it chores — Lots of other home-related jobs merit wearing eye protection, too. For instance, goggles can protect your eyes from falling grit when you’re working under your car, from splashing chemicals when you’re cleaning, or from dripping paint when you’re painting a ceiling.


Information from HowStuffWorks.com

Eyeglass Frames for Different Face Shapes

Choosing Eyeglass Frames - Moreland Eye Care

Choosing Eyeglass Frames - Moreland Eye Care

By Andrea Dilea
It used to be that eyeglasses were prescribed to correct visual impairments. But not anymore – nowadays eyeglasses can be purchased as a fashion accessory, which explains the sudden surge in stylish designer glasses available in the commercial market.

Eyeglasses can actually enhance your facial features to make you look sleek, stylish and trendy. The important thing about selecting glasses is finding which type suits your facial shape best. Not every eyeglass shape, design or color will look good on you. So it is advisable to try out several pairs to check which one makes you stand out.

You should check eyeglass frames that are suited to your particular face contour. First, assess what is the exact shape of your face. It can be round, square, oval or diamond.  Eyeglass manufacturers come up with different types of frames to suit each particular face shape.

If you have a round or full face, certainly you will not look good with round eyeglass frames. The trick for round faces is to provide a contrast, so square frames look great on them.  The defined edges provide a balance to the round structure of the face and provide an illusion of length to make you stand out.

On the other hand, if you have a square structure which usually means your jaws are quite defined on both sides of the face, rounded or oval glasses will offset the obvious angle on your jaws.  The best eyeglass frame shape for you should be the ones that are a bit rounded on their edges. Never go for very small rounded frames that just end around the outer corners of the eye as they will just make your face look a lot fuller.  Choose those with edges that extend way to the outer corners so they will complement the square structure of your face.

For both round and square faces, thicker frames with larger lenses work best in slimming your face. Never go for very thin glasses with rectangular shapes like the ones used for reading glasses since they will only make your face appear larger.

Thin, oval face shapes are the best facial structures to dress up with fashion eyeglass frames.  If you have this type of facial shape, consider yourself very lucky.  Almost any shape or design will suit you and create a different type of look every time you switch eyeglass designs.  If you have an oval faced shape that’s a bit on the smaller end, don’t go for those really big glasses though. They’re very well suited for individuals with large faces, but they might cover up most of your face and fail to enhance your looks.  Choose a similar eyeglass shape you like, but go for those that come in smaller sizes so your beautiful facial contours don’t get hidden beneath the glasses. Also go for the lighter frames so they don’t weigh down your petite face.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4869679

How to Avoid Computer Eye Strain

By Laura Newcomer

Ever spent more than two consecutive hours looking at a computer screen? Us too. Computers can make us more productive, but the bad news is that too much screen time can also lead to something called computer vision syndrome (CVS). Recognizable as that tired, strained feeling your eyes get after a day in front of a computer screen, CVS affects some 64% to 90% of office workers.

The condition likely doesn’t cause permanent eye damage, but it can still affect computer users’ comfort. The most common symptoms of CVS include eye strain, redness, irritation or dryness, a burning feeling in the eyes, blurred or double vision after computer use, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

Several factors increase the likelihood of CVS, including uncorrected vision problems, dry eyes, glares on the screen, poor lighting, poor posture and even the angle of the monitor. Another big factor is incorrect prescriptions: almost71% of people reporting symptoms of CVS wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.

If computer screens are proving a pain in your eyes, here are some guidelines to help ease symptoms:

Have your eyes checked regularly. If you need a new or changed prescription but don’t have it, using a computer will be difficult, period.

Reposition the computer. The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned directly in front of your face, not off to the side. Position the monitor so its center is 4 to 8 in. below your eyes, which allows the neck to relax while you read and type.

Follow guidelines for good posture. It’ll reduce strain on the back, neck and shoulders.

Ensure proper lighting. Try the visor test to determine if current lighting is a problem: look at the monitor and cup your hands over your eyes like a baseball cap. If your eyes immediately feel better, then the lighting should be changed. Experiment with brighter and dimmer lighting, as well as the angle of the lights, to find what’s most comfortable for your eyes.

Reduce glare. Installing anti-glare filters on the monitor, adjusting window shades and changing the screen’s contrast and brightness can help reduce glare and reflections.

Blink frequently. It should prevent dry eyes. If that doesn’t work, consider using lubricating eye drops. Also make sure air vents aren’t blowing on your face (this can dry out the eyes), and use a humidifier if the room is super dry.

Take regular work breaks. Stand, stretch or just look off into the distance, away from the computer, every 15 minutes or so to give the eyes a break.

Clean the monitor regularly. Dust can decrease screen sharpness, making the eyes work harder.

Try computer glasses. Unlike everyday eyewear, they’re designed specifically for looking at computer screens.

Consider optometric vision therapy. Some computer users have issues with eye focusing or coordination that aren’t corrected by glasses or contacts. Vision therapy consists of doctor-prescribed activities designed to improve visual functioning (think of it as a workout for the eyes — though no guarantees as to calorie burn).

Thanks to Dr. Dominick Maino, professor of pediatrics/binocular vision at the Illinois Eye Institute/Illinois College of Optometry, and Dr. Leonard Press, developmental optometrist at the Vision and Learning Center, for their help with this article.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/13/computer-eye-strain-explained-and-how-to-avoid-it/

 

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