Seven everyday things that put your vision at risk Essilor SA

Seven everyday things that put your vision at risk Essilor SA

Most people engage in several everyday activities that unfortunately put their vision at risk.

You check your phones on a daily, oftentimes also nightly, basis, whether it is for work or play (most likely, both). Much of the time, we are doing so without protecting ourselves from excess exposure to blue light.

A hike in the woods and a day at the beach are great ways to spend time outdoors but pack your sunglasses. Not protecting your eyes now can lead to vision issues as you grow older.

Several other common actions and behaviours can cause serious eye conditions, including cancer and blindness.

7 EVERYDAY THINGS THAT CAN PUT YOUR VISION AT RISK

Are you guilty of any of these seven everyday actions that can put your vision at risk?

SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON SCREENS

Screen time has significantly increased around the world. In fact, a new study finds that the worldwide average of daily screen time is 6 hours and 42 minutes per person, with people in some countries spending as many as 10 hours a day online.

The Philippines spends the most hours daily (about 10) on screens. Brazil, Thailand and Colombia all fall in the top five, at 9 or more hours a day.

The country in which residents spend the least amount of screen time? That’s Japan, where residents are on their devices for the least amount of time per day: 3 hours and 45 minutes.

How does all this screen time affect your vision? More time spent staring at devices raises the likelihood and severity of digital eye strain.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include dry or irritated eyes, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and difficulty falling asleep.

What can you do to cut your screen time? Limit your time looking at smartphones, e-readers and tablets. To fall asleep more easily, avoid screens before bedtime.

Another way to deal with all that screen time. Blue light glasses — special lenses block blue light that can interrupt your sleep cycle and may contribute to your digital eye strain.

RUBBING YOUR EYES

Can you count the number of times you’ve rubbed your eyes today? Rubbing your eyes can lead to serious issues like scratched corneas and cause existing vision problems to worsen.

Rubbing your eyes also can transfer bacteria and germs you picked up when you touched a doorknob or borrowed a friend’s phone. One example of the danger of rubbing your eyes: Transferring bacteria from your hands to your eyes can lead to conjunctivitis (pink eye).

When you feel as if something (eyelashes or dust, for example) may be stuck in your eye, don’t rub your eyes. Rinsing your eyes with saline or water is a safer way to remove the debris.

IMPROPERLY CARING FOR CONTACT LENSES

Caring for contact lenses properly is crucial for the health of your eyes, but some common abuses include sleeping in contacts, cleaning them incorrectly and wearing them in the shower or pool — all of which can lead to eye irritation or infection.

For example, sleeping or napping in your contact lenses can result in inflammation, blurry vision, light sensitivity and dry eye syndrome. Experts recommend taking out contacts regularly to give your eyes a break — even lenses that are approved for overnight use.

Study after study has found that contact lens wearers are not following the directions for care of their lenses. A 2015 study of adult contact lens wearers in Saudi Arabia found that 27.1% exhibited no hand washing or poor hand washing hygiene for handling their contacts, 35.7% of contact lens container hygiene was considered bad — and 1.6% of container hygiene was missing entirely.

In addition, one in five of these study participants changed their contact lenses irregularly, and as many as two thirds reported that they experienced side effects and complications from contact lens use that required medical attention.

It is important to know the risks of misusing contact lenses and to heed the advice and directions from your eye care professionals and contact lens makers.

NOT WEARING SUNGLASSES

When you are spending time in the sun, protecting your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is crucial. Sunglasses are the best form of protection and comfort against bright sunlight.

Spending a day in the sun without shades, even short-term exposure, can lead to conditions such as photokeratitis, or “sunburn of the eye.” While photokeratitis is temporary, it is painful.

Damage from UV radiation also can lead to more long-term conditions, such as cataracts, and even to cancer of the eye (although rare), the eyelids or the skin around the eye.

When choosing a pair of sunglasses, it’s important to select a pair that offers the most protection from UV radiation — 99% to 100% UV protection to be exact. Look for this level of UV protection on both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses.

OVERUSING EYE DROPS

Getting relief from itchy, dry, watery or red eyes can be as simple as using eye drops. However, using them excessively or improperly can potentially cause more problems for your eyes.

Overusing eye drops can lead to a dependency on them — and to clogged glands, which can be uncomfortable. Lubricating eye drops can wash away natural tears if they are used too often.

Whitening eye drops, which are used to treat redness, can cause blood flow to decrease. This can prevent essential nutrients and oxygen from reaching your eyes. As blood vessels struggle to deliver oxygen, they can grow larger and cause your eyes to appear even more red.

Allergy eye drops can be great for quick relief but should not be relied on as a permanent fix. Identifying the primary cause of an allergic response is more beneficial to both your eyes and your overall health in the long run.

If using eye drops causes your eye conditions to worsen, stop using the drops and consult an eye doctor, who can recommend or prescribe the best products for you.

SMOKING

One of the biggest threats to your vision health is smoking, especially if it is a daily activity. Smoking causes significant lung damage, but it can also be a factor in eye conditions that lead to vision loss and blindness.

Some of the greatest vision risks for tobacco users are cataracts and macular degeneration.

Most cataracts develop slowly, causing vision to become blurry. Cataracts also grow worse over time and eventually can lead to loss of vision if they are not treated surgically.

Your central vision, which helps you recognize faces, can be impacted by macular degeneration. Central vision is vital for tasks such as driving and reading, as well as for seeing people and objects clearly.

Some new evidence also suggests that smoking can lead to glaucoma, a condition that increases pressure in the eye and can cause serious damage to eyesight.

Smoking can cause many health and vision problems, but you can protect yourself from these conditions in one step: by stopping your smoking habits immediately.

MISSING REGULAR EYE EXAMS

Regular eye exams are not a daily activity but rather an everyday decision that affects both the health of your vision and, potentially, your overall health.

Vision changes as you age can be affected by other health conditions. Eye exams are important because they can reveal indications of eye conditions that have not begun to show symptoms and can address bigger issues that are connected to eye health.

Professionals recommend getting your eyes checked at least every few years (more often as you get older or are at risk for developing eye conditions) to maintain the safety and health of your eyes, and to help prevent long-term issues such as vision loss.

IS IT TIME FOR AN EYE EXAM?

Contact World of Vision Optometrists and schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

 

 

10 signs you might need an eye exam

10 signs you might need an eye exam

Roughly 60% of the world’s population requires vision correction, according to the Vision Impact Institute.1 That’s a lot of people, but the good news is 80% of all visual impairment can be avoided or corrected.2

As everything in our body, our vision changes over time.  Usually gradually, which make it more difficult to notice. We need to maintain our eyes so that they function optimally. The best way to maintain your eyes is to schedule a yearly eye exam with your World of Vision optometrist. One of the clearest signs that you might need glasses is the inability to read an actual sign. But there are many other clues that can reveal if your powers of observation are fading.

  • Frequent headaches: When the small muscles in the eye are forced to work harder, you will find yourself squinting or your eyes straining. This causes headaches and is a major sign that you may need glasses.
  • Blurred vision: If your favourite book has become too fuzzy to read up close, you may be developing farsightedness or presbyopia. Difficulty reading street names while driving could indicate near-nearsightedness, while astigmatism causes confusion between similar numbers and letters at both distance and close-up.
  • Eye rubbing: If you are rubbing your eyes, you may have eye fatigue or an eye infection. Continuous rubbing can cause damage to your eye’s structures. To prevent this, have your eyes examined as soon as possible.
  • Seeing double: Double vision can lead to serious issues. If you have double vision, then there may be a problem with your cornea or the eye muscles. You need to see the optometrist if you experience these symptoms.
  • It is difficult to see at night: If you are no longer able to see the dog in the yard at night, you may be experiencing signs of cataracts, which need to be examined as soon as possible.
  • Eye strain or eye fatigue: Eye strain can be affected by various factors such as flu, allergies or not getting enough sleep. However, if you are experiencing pain and this pain lasts more than a few days, you need to get your eyes checked. If your eyes also to seem to get tired when watching TV or reading your book, it is time to make an appointment with your optometrist.
  • Reading or computer work has become difficult: If you are finding it difficult to work on the computer or read your book, you may be experiencing signs of farsightedness.
  • Squinting often: If you are often squinting, it might be because you are trying to reduce the light entering the eye and to reduce the size of the blurry image. This is often a sign of poor vision.
  • You have difficulty with light adjustments: Does it take your eyes longer to adjust to seeing a bright light or after being in the dark for a while? It could mean that the muscles that help your iris contract and expand are weakening
  • Seeing halos around lights: Seeing halos or circles around lights may be a sign that you are developing cataracts or a night vision problem. If the light is scattered or blurred, it is a sign that your eyes are struggling to focus properly.

While these signs don’t necessarily mean you have poor vision, they do indicate and eye complication – visit your World of Vision optometrist as soon as possible.

1“The Cost of Uncorrected Vision,” Jean-Félix Biosse-Duplan, The Vision Impact Institute, Oct. 24, 2014
2“Visual impairment and blindness,” World Health Organization, August 2014, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/

Road safety starts with good vision

Road safety starts with good vision

Can you believe we are almost at the end of 2019?

Only one month away from your very well-deserved December holiday. Every year the excitement and happiness are tainted by the number of road accidents, leading to death and disability.

This year include “Check my Vision” on your holiday check list.

Road safety starts with good vision. It is the most important sense to take decisions on the road. And 80% of all visual impairments can be prevented or cured.

Why is Your Vision Important in Driving?

90% of driver information is visual. The ability to have good vision is a vital part of driver fitness. A recent study has shown that 1 in every 5 drivers suffers from a vision defect that can affect their driving performance. This is particularly disconcerting as 90% of all critical decisions that drivers make are based on sight.

Having good vision is essential for safe driving and even a slight compromise in your vision affects not only how well you can see objects in the distance, but will negatively affect your reaction time, depth perception, peripheral vision and night time vision.

Warning Signs
– Headaches when driving
– Blurred road signs
– Unsure night vision
– Difficulty judging distance
– Intolerant to glare or light
– Fluctuating Vision
– Scratched spectacle lenses
– Slower reaction time

If you experience any of the above signs, visit your Optometrist at World of Vision at least 2 weeks before your planned holiday.  This will give us enough time to assess your vision and prepare spectacles before you leave. Don’t wait until the last minute.

Driving Tips

  1. If you have trouble seeing in low light, consult your Optometrist to identify any vision problems. You may be a candidate for prescription night-driving glasses, even if you don’t wear glasses during the day.
  2. Ask your eye care professional for glasses with anti-reflective coating which reduce sun or headlight glare, giving you sharper driving vision.
  3. If you suffer from dry-eye syndrome, treat it immediately. This eye condition will cause you to experience light scatter.
  4. Keep your car in sound working condition to eliminate interference with good driving vision. Clean your headlights, windows and mirrors before driving at night. Use your window defoggers in bad weather. Drive slowly and turn on your high-beam headlights in dark areas when there is no danger of interfering with other drivers’ vision.
  5. Contact lenses provide you with a natural and unobstructed view of the road along with fewer distortions to enhance your seeing and driving ability.

Don’t risk you and your families and other road user’s safety, book your appointment today!

Remember, you might still have medical aid Optical benefits for 2019.  If you don’t use it wisely, you might miss out.