My 15 month-old grandson came for a visit recently. He’s a busy little guy – walking (or, rather, running and crashing), chattering and exploring everything. Of course, he loves toys that talk and sing when he pushes the button. After 30 minutes of a squeaky voice singing the same three songs, however, I’ve had it. This visit to grandma’s house was different. Entertainment consisted of a kiddie pool, plastic cups, a squirting rubber ducky, pots and pans, and picture books. He was happy (most of the time), and little did I know that my back-to-basics approach might actually be good for his visual development.
We are in the middle of summer and vacations are in full swing. The first place most people head is the beach. There is a ton of fun to be had with swimming, surfing, fishing, and boating. Of course, the sunscreen and bathing suits are packed. Hopefully everyone has a great, protective pair of sunglasses. Not only does a pair of sunglasses protect the eyes from the direct sun rays and make seeing in the brightness more comfortable, but they can also help protect the eyes from reflections.
While some patients understand and are diligent about returning for additional medical testing the doctor deems necessary, unfortunately, many patients are not as receptive. We recently encountered such a patient. The patient was educated about the importance of returning for additional testing specific to her medical condition, but ignored the doctor’s recommendation. Although the patient was told many times that she had macular changes, she did not return.
As we watched with desperate hope, the members of a Thai soccer team began to emerge from a cave where they’d been trapped for two weeks. Along with relief for each boy saved was concern for their health. I wondered about what could have happened to their eyes and vision after those weeks of darkness. There hasn’t been much research into the effects of prolonged light depravation on human vision, but the good news is that animal studies indicate that the effects are temporary and reversible.
Does it seem like it’s been too long since Memorial Day kicked off the summer season? The Fourth of July comes around just as we’re ready for another party. Along with beaches, barbecues and beer come the traditional fireworks to commemorate our victory in that long ago battle for independence. But while we’re filling coolers and slathering on the sunscreen, doctors and emergency rooms around the country are gearing up for fireworks related injuries.
It’s that time of year for a huge increase in vacationers. Many people will be heading to the beach and to other outdoor activities. One of the biggest concerns while enjoying the outdoors is preventing sunburn. The first thought is protecting your skin with diverse types of sunscreen, but not many people realize that your eyes can get sunburn just like your skin. This is a temporary, but painful condition that can be prevented with a little preparation.
Prevent Blindness America named June “Cataract Awareness Month,” and we need to be very aware that worldwide, cataracts are the most preventable cause of blindness. The message is clear: Long term exposure to UV radiation, especially from sunlight, is linked directly to cataract development. But how, exactly, does UV exposure cause cataracts?
Happy May! Or should I say, “Welcome to UV Awareness Month,” as so-named by Prevent Blindness America. As Eye Care Professionals, we know that UV has harmful effects on the internal structures of the eye, but do you know that some medications can compound the effects of UV exposure?
It is well known that exercising and discontinuing bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol will help us live a healthier life. Eating healthy foods is a big part of that healthy lifestyle. Not only will it improve your overall health, but there are some vitamins and minerals that can have a direct effect on healthier vision.