HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Nearly 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure or hypertension reports the American Heart Association. To understand the relation of hypertension and our eyes: Every heartbeat causes blood to put pressure on the arteries and capillaries that carry it. High blood pressure is when your heartbeat exerts too much pressure on the vessels. Hypertension that goes on for an extended time can damage the vessels which in turn will cause harm to the organs they supply.
…including the eyes.
High blood pressure can even hamper your vision by causing swelling in the optic nerve. It also causes small hemorrhages and narrowing of the eyes’ blood vessels. Other eye related issues related to high blood pressure are: optic neuropathy (damage of the optic nerve caused by a blockage of its blood supply), choroidopathy(fluid build up under the retina), and hypertensive retinopathy (retinal vascular damage).
2) Symptoms of eye damage caused by high blood pressure can vary…such as impaired vision, double vision, headaches, blind spots, burst blood vessels. Often these symptoms do not manifest till much damage has already occurred.
3) Risk Factors include
-high blood pressure over a long period
-hardening of the arteries
The main therapy is to keep high blood pressure under control through medications and life style changes.Taking steps to reduce the above risk factors is vital.
High blood pressure can damage your eyes as well as other organs of your body. Let your health care practitioners, including your optometrist, know of any family history of high blood pressure, stroke, cardiac disease. Have your pressure checked on a regular basis and follow guidelines for healthy living.
4 TIPS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL EYE HEALTH
Does it seem like summer is flying as quickly as usual? It is time to start planning for the fall and back to school eye exams are high on the agenda for families.
1) EYE EXAM SAVVY
—Know the difference between vision screenings and a comprehensive eye exam.
—Often schools will perform periodic visual screenings. While many children have been helped by these beneficial screenings, some vision difficulties can go completely unnoticed. Vision conditions which are imperceptible during a screening can interfere with the child’s academic achievement and athletics participation.
A complete eye exam evaluates such areas as
-visual function such as depth perception,
peripheral vision and color vision
-eye focusing and movement ability
-family eye health history
All are vision aspects vital for a child’s development. A vision screening is no substitute for an eye health exam.
2) SCREEN HYGIENE
We are all spending a larger part of our day staring at screens. The Huffington Post reports that more leisure time is now spent on digital devices than watching television. With visual systems still developing, vision coordination/organization demands on children are even more exacting than upon adults. Some rules of thumb to follow:
-20/20/20 rule- every 20 minutes focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds
–consider computer glasses for more accurate acuity and for protection from blue light damage to the eyes
–Encourage and enforce “screen vacations..”
a day or afternoon without any screen time.
3) HYGIENE- Protect from illness
Your eyes are not only the window to your soul but also a portal to illness. Specific eye diseases such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), viruses like the flu or a common cold, can invade your body via your eyes.
-don’t share personal items-makeup, towels
-never share “costume” or any other contact lenses
-avoid touching or rubbing your eyes
4) SPORTS VISION PROTECTION
Between the ages of 11-14 most children’s eye injuries occur when playing sports without the appropriate protection.
–The National Eye Institute reports nearly 35,000 eye accidents a year. Articles by The Vision
Council state that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children.
– Options for protective eyewear include: general sport goggles, helmet goggles, and swimming goggles. Our office carries Rec-Specs which can be ordered with or without prescriptions and tints.
Before your children pack school supplies in their backpacks and get on the school bus, make sure that their eyes are ready for a great school year in the classroom and on the playing fields.
6 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT :
Internet shopping is great for convenience and ease. One click of the mouse and your product is delivered in a few days. This usually works out well for items like office supplies, electronics, and often, clothes. However, buying prescription glasses online is not always such a simple, satisfying experience.
Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.
Quality issues are a clear and present danger
– Out of every 200 glasses ordered, only 154 pairs were received
– 44.8% had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues , including cracked or shattered lenses
– 29% had at least one lens that failed to match the ordered prescription
– 19% of adult lenses failed impact resistance testing – 25% of Children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing
Looking good is the best revenge.
Eyeglasses are a custom-made item….a person’s particular head shape/size and eyes can vary widely. Anyone who has ever picked out a pair of frames will tell you that they look different on your face than on the display.
Life is like a multiple choice test …sometimes the choices confuse you not the question itself.
Consumer Reports states, “There are so many choices for lenses and coatings, it’s easy to be confused about what’s worth buying” in regard to online prescription glasses. Once the eye exam is done and you are selecting frames, the choices (and befuddlement) start.
Frame and lens selection can be the most complicated part of the whole process. This is where the expert advice and the personal service of an optician working individually with you are valuable. There are many options for frames and lenses, including multifocal and progressive lenses, computer, reading and occupational glasses.
…And this also includes choices for different lens materials and coatings. Making the right selection can improve your visual comfort, support good eye health, and save you money on options you don’t need.
The devil is in the detail
Precise customization of your lenses involves different lens measurements: the optical center of your lenses is the area that gives you the truest vision and it is located directly in front of your pupils. Measuring your own pupil distance can be like trying to cut your own hair.
In particular, multi focal lenses present an even bigger challenge. Lenses combining different distances such as reading, distance, computer, special considerations for your occupation are very difficult to self measure.
Accurate measurements make all the difference in how successfully you will wear your glasses. Incorrect lenses can also be dangerous for driving, machine operation, walking up and down stairs.
Take note: higher prescription glasses especially require precise measurements and custom fit.
5) AT YOUR SERVICE
Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go
When there is an issue with the fit of the frame, the prescription, or the way the glasses look once you are wearing them, many online customers find the convenience of ordering glasses in their home quickly fades. Consumers who ordered online for the convenience find they need to make the trip to their local optician anyway for adjustments, troubleshooting, and repairs. Since the glasses were purchased online, there is generally a charge for these services. When the fit feels wrong or the lenses are causing headaches, it is a chore to find someone who will make the problem go away.
6) EYE HEALTH AND BEYOND
All the money in the world can’t buy you back good health.
Wherever you buy your glasses , regular eye exams and contact lens checkups are one of the most important investments you can make for your health. The temptation to skip this part and click a new pair of glasses into your online shopping bag may be an unintended consequence of quick-fix web shopping.
Besides ruling out vision problems, and eye diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma , other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetic retinopathy can be detected in a professional eye exam.
WHEN A DEAL IS NOT A DEAL
A bargain is something you can’t use at a price you can’t resist. Franklin P. Jones
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing. Albert Einstein
At first thought, ordering glasses online seems to be convenient. However living with your new prescription can be another matter.
If you choose to order prescription glasses on the web, be sure to proceed cautiously and keep in mind “buyer beware.” The professional and custom care that an optometrist and optician’s office provides is worth a trip for glasses that you will be living with for many months to come.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.
There is an abundance of commentary and advice about aging well. As we get older we are more at risk for eye diseases but it doesn’t mean that serious reduction or loss of sight are unavoidable. Taking care of your vision is an important tool in your bag of tricks.
Vision Risks with age:
- -difficulty reading, especially in low light
- -dry, itchy eyes, particularly for women past menopause
- -visual effects of systemic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes; medication side effects
- -age related macular degeneration
***An estimated 40-50% of all age related blindness can be avoided or treated with early detection***
Safeguarding your eyes:
- -regular eye exams are the cornerstone of visual health-make your eye doctor aware of any diseases that run in your family
- – wear sunglasses and a hat for extra protection
- – stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke
- – establish an exercise regimen for overall health
- – Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, and fish. Researchers have found that eating a high amount of olive oil and green leafy vegetables can actually help to decrease the development of age related macular degeneration.
Larry Cusma OD, Glenville, NY