The Dos and Don’ts of Contact Lens Care

While contact lenses are safely adopted by millions of people every day, they do carry a risk of eye infection. The best way to avoid eye infections is to follow proper lens care guidelines as prescribed by your eye care professional. If you do not use lenses as directed, you could be damaging your eyes. Clean and safe handling of your contacts is one of the most important things you can do to protect your eyes and maintain good overall eye health. In this article, we’ll be providing information on the good and bad steps of contact lens care.

Things You Should Always Do

The type of contact lenses you have determine how you care for it. Disposable extended-wear soft lenses need the least care while conventional soft lenses need extensive care. To avoid the risk of eye infection and complications, you must carefully follow directions for lens care. To help you get started, here are a few ways to look after your lenses. Keep in mind these are general tips, and you should always confirm with your eye doctor what the best care practices are for your particular lenses.

Wash Your Hands. Before handling contact lenses, wash and rinse your hands thoroughly. Use a mild non-cosmetic soap. Soaps with fragrance, oils or lotions leave a film on the hands, which may transfer to your lenses and irritate the eye.

Cut Your Nails. It’s also a good idea to keep your fingernails short and smooth to avoid damaging your lenses or scratching the eye.

Clean Your Lenses and Lens Case. During cleaning, place the lens in the palm of your hand, apply a generous amount of solution and gently rub the lens against your palm with your pointer finger, using a back-and-forth motion.

Remember to keep your contact lens case clean and replace it regularly, at least every three months. Lens cases can become a source of contamination and infection. Also remember to use fresh solution daily.

Use the Correct Eye Products and Solutions. Different types of contact lenses require special care and certain types of products. There are various types of drops and solutions available, including contact lens multi-purpose solutions that clean, disinfect and store contact lenses. Most cleaning solutions are recommended for conventional (non-disposable) contact lenses but can be used with disposable contact lenses, too. They can help remove any build-up of unwanted deposits, and debris such as oils and proteins. If these deposits are left on your lenses, you may feel discomfort or eye irritation.

Use the disinfecting solution, eye drops and enzymatic cleaners your eye care professional recommends. Some eye products or eye drops are not safe for contact lens wearers.

Do Not Use Tap Water. Never use tap water directly on lenses. Microorganisms can live in distilled water, causing infection or sight damage.

Never Sleep with Contact Lenses. Unless you are prescribed extended wear contacts, do not sleep with contact lenses in your eyes. Closed eyes don’t allow tears to carry a healthy amount of oxygen to your eyes.

Wear Protection. Contact lenses may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunglasses with UV protection or a wide brim hat when in the sun.

Remove Your Contact Lenses if Irritated. If you develop an eye irritation, remove your contact lenses immediately. Wearing a contaminated pair of lenses invites the infection to stay. If symptoms do not improve, talk with your eye care professional.

Get Regular Eye Exams. If you wear contact lenses, you should be examined by an eye care professional annually, and more often if needed. Contact lens prescriptions do expire — typically within one year. Annual exams ensure they continue to have an accurate and appropriate prescription for your vision needs.

Things You Should Never Do

To reduce the risk of infection, you should not:

  • Wear contact lenses if your eyes are red or sore, or your vision is blurry
  • Insert contact lenses if they are damaged
  • Keep disposable contact lenses longer than instructed by your optometrist
  • Use contact lens solution types or disinfection procedures without consulting your optometrist
  • Use medicated drops on contact lenses without your optometrist’s approval
  • Wear contact lenses when swimming, unless you’re wearing goggles
  • Wear another person’s contact lenses

Schedule a Consultation

Proper eye care is essential to vision health, and the same applies to how you carry out your contact lens care, as well. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Advanced Eye Medical today. Dr. Ghosheh and his team will discuss and review your lens options in order to find the perfect fit for you and your desired results.

Facts and Myths of Eye Health

There’s a ton of health advice and information available online, on TV, and even from family and friends. Some are credible, but a lot of bad information is out there — leading to misconceptions and false truths. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction, and eye health is no exception.

To help you separate the truth and the lies, let’s look at some of the most common facts and myths of eye health, and show you which is which. Stay informed to make the most accurate and best decision for your needs.

Myth: Sitting Too Close to the TV Can Hurt Your Eyes

Sitting closer than necessary to the television may give you a headache or tired eyes, but there’s no evidence to show that it causes permanent damage. If your eyes start to burn or feel strained, close your eyes for a couple of minutes or shift your focus elsewhere to give them a rest. If that doesn’t work, turn off the TV to give your gives a longer break.

Part Fact, Part Myth: Sunglasses are the Best Way to Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

No, it’s not a myth that sunglasses are a good way to protect your eyes, but it is a myth if anyone’s told you you’re safe to look at the sun when wearing them. The sun releases ultra-violet rays that have the ability to damage our retina, lens, and/or cornea. Sunglasses aren’t strong enough to effectively protect your eyes entirely from its ultra-violet rays, so continue to avert your gaze from direct sunlight.

Fact: Looking Straight at the Sun Will Damage Your Sight

Looking directly at the sun may cause a headache and distort your vision, but more importantly, it can also cause permanent eye damage. UV exposure on your eyes can lead to eye disorders such as macular degeneration, solar retinitis, and corneal dystrophies.

Fact: Wearing the Wrong Prescription Can Damage Your Eyes

Wearing the wrong prescription can damage your eyes because it may cause some discomfort or strain. If your glasses or contacts have an old prescription, you might start to experience some eye strain. If this is the case, it’s time to set up another visit with your optometrist. To see your best, don’t wear anyone else’s glasses and get a regular eye exam so you always have the accurate prescription for your vision needs.

Myth: Computer Use Can Damage the Eyes

Computer screens affect vision through repetition. Just like repetitive stress injuries at work, continuous strain on the eyes by digital screens can result in discomfort and pain of the eyes.

When you stare at a computer screen, it requires the eyes’ continual focus, moving back and forth and realigning what you are seeing. If you look down at papers then back at the computer screen the eyes have to accommodate to changing images on the screen in order to create a clear picture for the brain to interpret.

All of these functions occur within milliseconds, and require significant effort from eye muscles. It adds more strain than reading a book or piece of paper because a computer screen fluctuates in contrast, flicker, and glare.

However, even though computer use can cause eye strain, this only applies if you’re using it incorrectly. Make sure you have good light surrounding you, take breaks to rest your eyes, and adjust the brightness according to time of day and surrounding light sources. When you use your computer responsibly and with proper consideration, it will not cause any eye damage.

Myth: Reading in the Dark Will Deteriorate Your Eyesight

Reading in the dark can cause your eyes to feel strained, dry, sore, and may even result in headaches. However, it is unlikely that doing so will permanently weaken your eyes or lead to vision loss. Reading without sufficient light is hard on your eyes because it forces them to collect the light and contract to focus on your reading material. Of course, the easiest solution is to turn on a light to reduce strain.

Part Fact, Part Myth: Eating Carrots Will Improve Your Vision

Carrots are high in vitamin A, a nutrient that is essential for good vision. Eating carrots will help you with the small amount of vitamin A needed for good vision. Vitamin A can also be found in milk, cheese, egg yolk, asparagus, apricots, nectarines, and liver. A well-balanced diet can provide the vitamin A needed for good vision.

Just keep in mind that carrots and other vitamin A-rich foods are good for maintaining healthy vision; none will magically improve your vision. And no matter how regularly you eat these foods, natural deterioration to your vision is often an inevitable aspect of aging.

Schedule a Consultation

Separating the facts and myths of eye health and eye care is important in ensuring you look after your vision. To schedule an eye health checkup, get in contact with Advanced Eye Medical today. We will discuss and review your current eye health and, if applicable, available treatment and management options.

Eye-Opening Eye Health Statistics

Eye health conditions are very common in the United States, and may be present from birth, as a result of illness or injury, or developed over time due to aging. Five common eye health conditions affecting Americans are cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and uncorrected refractive error.

Living with a vision disorder may cause disadvantages due to delayed childhood learning, reduced participation in education and employment, and social isolation. But you are not alone. We have compiled some surprising and top-line eye health statistics for your information. The following eye health statistics have been compiled by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Eye Diseases

  • Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million Americans aged 40 and older. By age 75, approximately half of all Americans have cataracts.
  • Glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and older.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is present in nearly 2.1 million Americans aged 50 and older, the stage that can lead to severe vision impairment. In 2010, 9.1 million Americans had early AMD. By age 80, 1 in 10 Americans have late AMD, which is more common in women than in men.
  • Diabetic retinopathy affects nearly 7.7 million Americans aged 40 and older. The number of people in the United States with diabetes is increasing. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes. About 27% of those with diabetes, 8.1 million Americans, do not know they have the disease. Diabetes affects 12.3% of adults age 20 and older.
  • Dry eye syndrome increases with age. An estimated 3.2 million women aged 50 and over, and 1.68 million men aged 50 and over, are affected by dry eye syndrome.
  • Corneal transplants are regularly performed in the United States. There were 48,229 corneal transplants performed in the United States in 2013. Since 1961, more than 1,000,000 men, women, and children, ranging in age from 9 days to 100+ years, have had their sight restored through a corneal transplant.

Visual Impairment and Blindness

  • Nearly 1.3 million Americans aged 40 and older are legally blind, a condition defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than or equal to 20/200 in the better-seeing eye.
  • More than 2.9 million Americans aged 40 and older have low vision, a condition defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than 20/40. This number excludes those who are legally blind.
  • Nearly 4.2 million Americans age 40d and older are visually impaired, defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye. This number includes both those with low vision and those who are legally blind.
  • Approximately 8% of men and 0.5% of women among populations with Northern European ancestry have the most common form of color blindness that makes it hard to see red or green. The incidence of this condition is lower in almost all other populations studied.

Refractive Errors

  • More than 34 million Americans aged 40 and older are myopic (nearsighted); this is 23.9% of that population.
  • Nearly 14.2 million Americans aged 40 and older are hyperopic (farsighted); 8.4% of that population.
  • More than 150 million Americans use corrective eyewear to compensate for refractive errors. Americans spend more than $15 billion each year on eyewear.
  • Approximately 37 million Americans wear contact lenses.

Eye Injuries

  • Each year, an estimated 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States. Using protective eyewear can prevent 90% of all eye injuries.
  • Nearly 35% of all eye injuries occur in people 18 to 45 years of age.
  • Accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.
  • More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10-20% will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
  • A foreign body in the eye is the most common type of injury, accounting for 35% of the total. Open wounds and contusions each account for about 25%, and the remaining injuries are burns.

Schedule a Consultation

Proper eye care is essential to vision health, as these eye health statistics show. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Advanced Eye Medical today. We will discuss and review the state of your eye health and associated options in order to ensure your eyes stay in good condition.

Vision Correction Surgery: 5 Signs it May be Right for You

Deciding whether vision correction surgery is right for you can prove to be a challenging task. When you start researching, there seems to be an endless stream of information about why you should elect to get vision correction surgery.  This is why it is important to discuss your desire to learn more about vision correction surgery with your eye care professional.  Here is a list of five signs that indicate that you may need vision correction surgery.

1. You Hate Your Eyeglasses

Many people who wear glasses can become frustrated by how easy they are to lose or break, or how they can sometimes feel uncomfortable or obstructive.  This is particularly the case for those who enjoy contact and water sports.

If you’re someone who consistently finds themselves replacing their glasses, you should consider vision correction surgery. This is also true for people who find it annoying when they have to switch between their prescription glasses and their sunglasses, or those who have trouble finding eyeglass styles that they like.

2. Lenses are Not Right for You

Contact lenses are a popular choice for those who need vision correction. However, they do require a lot of maintenance to keep your eyes healthy and can be easy to lose. In addition to this, some people may find that their eyes are agitated by the use of contacts. People who continually lose their lenses and are tired of paying for replacements, or those who find contacts uncomfortable, may be good candidates for vision correction surgery.

3. You Love Outdoor Activities

Glasses and contacts can become quite cumbersome to a large number of outdoor activities. So if you’re tired of your glasses fogging up when you’re out bird watching or your contacts are causing your eyes to itch on the ski slopes, then vision correction surgery is an excellent solution to consider.

4. Your Eyes are beginning to Show Their Age

People over the age of 40 may find that focusing on near objects has become difficult. Losing the ability to see near objects clearly is a natural part of the aging process.  However, if you feel that constantly carrying around reading glasses in order to read menus, paperwork, ingredient labels, etc. is not something you want to deal with later in life, then vision correction surgery could be a better avenue to correcting your vision without impeding your life.

5. Your Career is not Eyeglass or Contact Friendly

Many careers, particularly those in the industrial and manufacturing fields, can make it difficult to wear eyeglasses or contacts. For example, if you’re in a field that requires that you wear protective goggles or masks, having to wear eyeglasses underneath can be quite cumbersome and may negatively affect your work.  In addition, careers such as those in construction where there can be a lot of dust or debris in the air can make wearing contacts dangerous.  If your career makes it difficult to wear either eyeglasses or contacts, then corrective eye surgery is an ideal choice for you.

If any of the above factors apply to you and you want to learn more about the vision correction surgery options available to you, which may include iLASIK, then get in contact with Advanced Eye Medical. We operate in the Orange County area, and are happy to help out local and visiting patients.

Achieving Good Eye Health for Strong and Focused Eyes

For most people, seeing is an ordinary subconscious experience that we take for granted. But your eyes are exposed muscles that undergo challenges due to aging, environment, and straining every day. Learn some ways to prevent damage or injury to your eyes and to keep them healthy and strong long-term.

Eating Well for Good Eye Health

Your eyes need lutein, omega 3 fatty acids and beta-carotene, which can be found in many nutritious and delicious foods. Incorporating these foods into your diet will prevent your eyes from weakening over time and keep them healthy.

Lutein is a type of antioxidant that protects your eye cells, and there are many luteins in foods such as arugula, Swiss chard, and cabbage. Carrots have beta-carotene in them that promote healthy, strong vision, and provide vitamin A to your eyes, as well to avoid the development of cataracts or serious forms of blood damage in the eye.

Sweet potatoes similarly have this effect with lots of vitamin A. Oily fish, such as salmon, has plenty of omega-3s, which can help improve poor vision as it also contains lots of zinc. Eggs are similarly high in zinc and are an easy, affordable option. Eggs also contain omega-3s and lutein, which is an added bonus. Eating almonds regularly is also great for your vision because they’re high in vitamin E, which can help slow macular degeneration.

Eating well boosts your immunity, your strength and the overall health of your body, and this very much includes your eyesight and eye health.

Protecting Your Eyes from Screens

Staring at screens, which in the 21st century most of us do fairly often, can actually be very damaging and unnatural for your eyes. This kind of strain on your eyes can lead to a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome. The eyestrain from staring at a computer can lead to common Computer Vision Syndrome symptoms: blurred vision; dry eyes; head, back, and neck pain. Ensuring your computer is placed level with your seat so that you are looking slightly down at the screen can aid with intense glare and back pain.

You can also purchase an anti-glare screen for your computer or blue-light filters for your glasses and contact lenses – there are also computer and smart phone apps that can filter blue light.

Computer Vision Syndrome has been linked to retina damage, sleep disorders, and even depression. Make sure you work and use the computer in a comfortable chair and take breaks to adjust your posture and align your feet flat on the floor. Paying attention to how you sit and your body alignment will assist your vision and comfort while working.

Be sure to use eye drops to keep your eyes from drying up using the computer and make sure you rest your eyes every half an hour by looking beyond the screen for at least half a minute.

Seeing an Eye Doctor Regularly

Making time for an annual eye appointment is very important for your eyes as your optometrist can check your eye-health for signs of retina damage, glaucoma, or prescription changes that might need addressing. Checking in with your eye doctor and disclosing your medical history, taking vision tests and testing your optic nerves is critical for ensuring you’re taking good care of your eyes and that they’re strong and healthy. In the event that you may need eye surgery, an ophthalmologist can help.

Protecting Your Eyes from Sun Damage

UV rays are very dangerous and can scorch your eyes just as the sun can burn you skin. If you have sunburned eyes, your eyes will feel weary, itchy and probably will turn red in color. If you continuously burn your eyes, you may develop cataracts or suffer from intense retina damage. Sunglasses are key; especially in warmer, brighter seasons, to avoid UV damage. You can buy sunglasses that have UV ray protection and ones that also fit your prescription so you’ll be more comfortable wearing them.

Find Out More and Ask Questions

Everyone’s eyes are unique, and it’s good to ask medical professionals such as the eye specialists at Advanced Eye Medical about how to keep your eyes strong, eye infection prevention, and good cleaning habits for your contact lenses to avoid the weakening of your eyes.

Eye Care: Its Most Historical Moments

The history of optometry is rich and full of events, people, organizations, and stories. Many significant histories document, in detail, the development of optometry and ophthalmology, and how it has led to today’s eye care advancements.

Early Modern Optometry: Foundations

One of the first figures associated with the invention of spectacles was the thirteenth century English philosopher, friar Roger Bacon. In 1263, Roger Bacon realized the potential of using lenses for those weak-of-sight. In his Opus Majus, he wrote, “If anyone examine letters or other minute objects through the medium of crystal or glass…he will see the letters far better and they will seem larger to him.”

By 1286, the first pair of spectacles were invented by an unknown party. By 1300, Europeans fashioned spectacles and often referenced German mathematician, Johannes Kepler, for his pioneering work on the function of the eye. He proposed that images are projected inverted and reverse by the eye’s lens onto the retina. Kepler’s work sparked a series of development in optometry, and in 1629 England granted its first charter to spectacle makers.

The Era of Progression

In 1799, Scotsman John McAllister Sr. opened the first U.S. shop for optometric services. By the end of the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin had invented the bifocal lens (1784), John Dalton brought colorblindness to public discussion (1794), and Thomas Young successfully mapped the normal visual field (1801).

In 1856, Hermann von Helmholtz published his handbook of Physiological Optics. In 1865, cylindrical lenses began being used and optometry as a term began being used in the practice.

In 1888, the first successful use of corrective vision contact lenses was documented. That same year, William Bohne’s Handbook for Opticians was published.

By 1921, the United States recognized optometry as a profession, which helped solidify its importance in the greater medical field. From the mid-1950s and through to this day, optometrists have developed a variety of new technologies and methods to examine the eye and improve vision – these include advanced contact lenses, laser surgery, LASIK, and more.

The Age of Technology

History paved the road for the today’s optometry services, a new age of technology and advancements. Below is a list of just some of these advancements beyond the wider known ones such as LASIK and other similar laser-driven treatments.

Auto-Refractor Keratometer measures an objective refraction or theoretical refraction of what lens power your need for proper vision. The instrument sees where light focuses on the back of your eye and determines what lenses it would take to make an image focus in the right area. It measures the sphere, cylinder and axis for each eye, along with the radius of curvature and axis for the cornea of each eye. These measurements provide data that can help determine your ideal prescription.

Corneal Topographer maps the front cornea surface of your eye. It helps to fit contact lenses, diagnose corneal disease, irregular astigmatism and keratoconus, and evaluate laser vision correction. Corneal topography is used in contact lens fitting services and post- laser vision correction eye exams.

Retinal Fundus Camera takes pictures of the back surfaces of your eye. This instrument helps measure the changes in the optic nerve and how new treatment or change of a treatment is necessary.

Non-Contact Tonometer measures intraocular pressure, which is the pressure inside your eyes. This instrument calculates and converts the response into a measurement of pressure.

Tonopen also measures intraocular pressure. The device touches an anesthetized eye surface to measure pressure and is most commonly used for patients with limited mobility.

Visual Field Analyzer, also known as a peripheral or side vision test, is used for glaucoma patients and patients suffering from headaches, visual disturbances, decreased vision, blind spots, and systemic conditions.

Pachometer measures the thickness of the cornea of your eye. This instrument helps determine correction factors for pressure measurements.

The advancements that have occurred in the field of eye care are nothing short of incredible. With the continuing advancements of bionic eyes for those with severely limited-to-no vision and eyewear that can help color blind patients achieve a visual color range closer to how most of the population sees, there is plenty more the field is still advancing toward.

If you have any questions or concerns about your own vision or eye health, be sure get in contact with the team of ophthalmologists and optometrists at Advanced Eye Medical. We are situated in beautiful Orange County, and would love to help you.

How to Get Rid of Red Eyes

Red eyes are easy to detect because the eyes will look very swollen and feel itchy, uncomfortable, watery, and, occasionally, full of discharge. The bloodshot look of red eyes often comes from the bursting of blood vessels in the eye.

A few common reasons for red eyes are the aforementioned broken blood vessels, inflamed eyelids, and/or a sty in the actual eye. Conjunctivitis or “pink eye” is also a common contagious illness that affects the eye and turns it very red and swollen-looking. You can also get red eyes from allergies to pollen, dander, or dust; or come down with a case of dry-eye when your tear-glands produce an insufficient amount of lubrication for your eyes.

There are many other causes such as swimming, smoking, or spending too much time on the computer that also causes your eyes to go red.

Here are some tips to get rid of red eyes effectively.

Try Eye Drops

There are two main varieties of eye drops depending on the severity of your eye redness. There are over-the-counter eye drops and prescription eye drops. Over-the-counter are inexpensive and faster to acquire, but sometimes prescription eye drops are needed for an infection that is persistent or very painful. Lubricating eye drops are great for dry, itchy eyes and mostly come in over-the-counter form. They mimic the sensation of tears and add moisture and comfort to your eyes.

There are also decongestant eye drops, which are great if you have red eyes due to a cold or the flu. Resist using decongestant eye drops if your eyes are overly dry as these drops tend to make those symptoms worse. Decongestion mainly helps your eyes look less red by shrinking the red vessels and helping clear your infected sinuses along with other cough and flu medication you might be taking.

Antihistamine eye drops are great for those suffering from allergies. This eye drop will reduce the itchiness, redness, and puffiness of the eyes while providing lubrication and comfort.

Place Ice or Cold Compresses on Your Eyes

Reducing the temperature of your eyes actually constricts blood vessels, and will help the redness go down as well as soothe any swelling and irritation.

Try placing two frozen metal spoons over your eyes and resting for twenty minutes. If you do this a couple of times within an hour, your eyes will feel much better and chances are they will look less red and puffy.

An ice pack or cold cloth will also work well, but the proximity, metal and shape of the spoons on your eyes tend to be a speedier cooling process.

Give it Time

As frustrating as it is to have a red eye, sometimes the best thing to do is wait for the redness to subside. This is a good option if the cause of the redness is specifically from a burst blood vessel. You can burst a blood vessel easily if you are on certain blood-thinners or exercising rigorously. You can even burst a blood vessel if you are constipated. The redness subsides in about a week, is painless, and typically only occurs in one eye at a time.

When To See a Medical Professional

If your eye redness and pain is persistent and preventing you from seeing properly or sleeping, be sure to speak to a medical professional who can prescribe to you an eye drop that suits your needs or other tips to keep the infection or rupture from worsening.

If you think you have pink eye, see a doctor immediately to receive a prescription. You’ll know it’s pink eye if the redness starts in one eye and within a day spreads to the other, if the eye(s) feels leaky, irritated, and itchy and is swollen.

Stay home from work and rest as pink eye is very contagious. Be sure to wash your hands frequently with good quality soap and hand sanitizer and avoid touching your eyes or face until the infection is gone. This will prevent your friends, family, or others from contracting pink eye from you.

Find Out More and Ask Questions

Everyone’s eyes are unique and it’s good to ask medical professionals such as the eye specialists at Advanced Eye Medical about any red eye symptoms, eye infection prevention, and good cleaning habits for your contact lenses to avoid redness in your eyes.

Negative Effects of UV Rays on Eye Health

Most people are aware of how harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation is to the skin. However, many may not realize that UV rays can harm the eyes and affect their vision.

Exposure to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time can cause extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. It can be painful and feel like a sunburn to the eye. The longer the eyes are exposed to UV radiation, the greater the risk of developing eye disorders such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Fortunately, sun protection and preventative options are available to offer UV protection.

Types of UV Radiation

There are three types of UV radiation:

UV-C rays are the highest energy UV rays, and potentially the most harmful to eye and skin health. Fortunately, it is absorbed by the ozone layer, virtually blocking all harmful UV-C rays. If, however, the ozone layer depletes, high-energy UV-C rays could potentially reach the earth’s surface and cause serious health problems.

UV-B rays emit lower energy than UV-C rays. These rays are partially absorbed by the ozone layer, but some still reaches the earth’s surface. In low doses, UV-B radiation can stimulate the production of melanin, causing the skin to darken. In higher doses, however, UV-B rays can cause sunburn that increases the risk of skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, and wrinkles.

In high short-term exposure, UV-B rays can also cause photokeratitis, a painful inflammation of the cornea.

UV-A rays have lower energy than UV-C and UV-B rays, but it can pass through the cornea and reach the lens and retina of the eye. Overexposure to UVA radiation can cause the development of cataracts and the development of macular degeneration.

How Do UV Rays Affect Eye Health?

Short and long term exposure to UV radiation can harm the eyes, affect vision, and compromise overall eye health. Eye diseases and conditions caused by exposure to UV radiation include:

  • Macular Degeneration, also known as AMD, is caused by damage to the retina over time. It is the leading cause of age-related blindness and extended exposure to UV light may increase the risk of developing this condition.
  • Cataracts are a condition in which the natural lens (the part of the eye that focuses on light we see) is clouded. Exposure to UV light, especially UV-B rays, increases the risk of contracting cataracts.
  • Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, is a pink, non-cancerous growth that forms on the layer of conjunctiva. Exposure to UV light increases the risk of developing these growths.
  • Skin cancer in and around the eyelids is also associated to extended UV exposure.
  • Photokeratitis, also known as corneal sunburn, is the result of high short-term exposure to UV radiation, especially UV-B rays. Long hours at the beach without proper eye protection can cause this condition, and it can be very painful. It can also cause temporary vision loss.

Prevention and Treatment

We all use sunscreen to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. Protecting our eyes is just as important. Sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year, and prevention is the best treatment. Be sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats whenever you are outside. Never look directly at the sun, which can damage the eye’s retina.

To provide adequate protection for your eyes, choose sunglasses carefully. They should:

  • Block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation;
  • Screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light;
  • Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection
  • Provides more coverage such as over-sized glasses

Additional precautions include:

  • Do not use sunlamps, tanning beds, or tanning booths
  • Wear UV-blocking goggles when surfing, swimming, or snowboarding
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat when outdoors
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight by staying in the shade, especially between 10am and 4pm

If your eyes are ever impacted by UV rays to an extent that you believe could be causing vision problems, you need to see an eye doctor immediately. At Advanced Eye Medical, Dr. Ghosheh and the team of ophthalmologists and optometrists have been serving the Orange County area for years. Get in contact with us today!

The Rarest Eye Disorders in the World

There are many eye disorders that affect a person’s health and well-being that are less known due to their rarity, but also their clinical terms and specific role in harming or hindering the eyes. Here are some of these eye health disorders and how they affect the eyes:

Achromatopsia

Achromatopsia is a genetic visual disorder that involves a person having decreased vision, severe sensitivity to light, and the inability to see color. It affects 1 in 33,000 people and is sometimes called “Day Blindness.” Dark tinted lenses help for bright sunny spaces because their retinas lack photo-receptors.

Anophthalmia and Microphthalmia

Anophthalmia and microphthalmia are often mistaken as the same disorder, but microphthalmia is actually when the eyes are very small and anophthalmia is when one or both eyes is not present and did not develop while in the womb.

These are rare birth defects caused by genetic mutation and irregular chromosomes. There may also be a link with drugs and pesticide exposure, but it is hard to say as it’s very much a case-to-case disorder. Anophthamia and microphthalmia are untreatable, but there is an opportunity for children to get treated for the physical abnormalities. Prosthetic eyes can be fitted and customized for the patient, as well as structures to help with facial support and encouraging the eye socket to expand.

Best’s Disease

Best’s disease is an eye health disorder that plays a role in deteriorating the macula of your eye. Vision gets progressively worse as the patient ages. There will be no full loss of sight and no pain experienced with the disorder, but the patient’s central vision will be blurry and distorted, often leading to understandable frustration among sufferers. Side vision stays healthy and untouched by the disorder.

The symptoms of Best’s disease are not clear-cut, but patients begin to notice their central vision failing to pick up details, or sudden blurring or waves for objects they know are shaped with clear lines (for example, a yellow line on the highway.)

Choroideremia

Choroideremia is an eye health disorder involving progressive and complete vision loss. It’s a rare disease but is mostly seen in males. It starts with night blindness and moves on to more severe vision difficulties such as tunnel vision and an ongoing loss of retinal cells and blood vessels.

The progression rate is different for each case, but it is inevitable that the patient will lose their site altogether in their adult years. Choroideremia accounts for approximately 4 percent of all blindness.

De Morsier’s Syndrome

De Morsier’s syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes the underdevelopment of the optic nerves, which send messages from the eyes to the brain. With damaged optic nerves the patient will have impaired vision in one or both eyes and may cause the person to have other eye abnormalities and less muscle control over their eyes. Other accompanying parts of De Morsier’s Syndrome are midline brain problems as well as pituitary gland damage. The patient may have a combination of these issues; all three or just one.

Find Out More and Ask Questions

Everyone’s eyes are unique and it’s good to ask medical professionals such as the eye specialists at Advanced Eye Medical about how to keep your eyes strong, as well as eye infection and disease prevention.

Though many severe eye disorders are genetic, because they are progressive over time, it’s good to keep an eye out for any changes or issues with your eyes and communicate with a professional.

13 Unhealthy Eye Care Habits that Affect Eye Health

We all have bad habits, but we don’t always know we’re doing them. But whether we know it or not, frequently engaging in habits that negatively affect the health of our eyes can compromise the quality of our vision. To help you get started, here are 13 unhealthy eye care habits that negatively affect your vision. Knowing what they are is a step towards keeping optimal, healthy vision.

1. Rubbing Your Eyes

The skin around your eyes is one of the most sensitive areas on your face, and first to show signs of aging. Rubbing your eyes can easily break tiny blood vessels under the skin’s surface and cause dark circles, premature crow’s feet and drooping eyelids. Soothe irritated eyes with a cold compress instead.

2. Forgetting Your Sunglasses

The sun’s harmful UV and HEV rays result in premature aging and damage to the eye and eyelids. Extended exposure without protection can also lead to sunburn of the front surface of the eye, cataracts, macular degeneration, pingucula, and pterygium. Wear your sunglasses to minimize the effects of bright lights and excessive squinting, and to block harmful UV rays.

3. Smoking

Smoking wreaks havoc on your health – including your eyes. It can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, uveitis, dry eyes, and diabetic retinopathy.

4. Eating Poorly

Not eating a well-balanced diet can deprive your body of necessary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids for optimum eye health. Fruits and vegetables, especially ones with vitamin C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help prevent and manage many age-related eye diseases.

5. Not Drinking Enough Water

Dehydration can negatively affect vision health. Not getting the recommended eight glasses of water a day can cause your body to not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist and properly nourished. As a result, dehydration can cause dryness, redness, and puffy eyelids in eyes.

6. Sleeping with Your Contacts In

It’s late and you’re tired. But that’s no excuse for not taking your contacts out before bed. Sleeping with your contacts in increases your risk of infection, and it could lead to permanent eye damage. Make sure to wash your hands clean and use extra contact solution.

7. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation can accelerate aging, and increase your risk of eye damage such as twitching, dry eyes, red eyes, blurry visions, and pain. Be sure to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night to improve your eye care.

8. Reading at Night in Poor Lighting

Reading in bed is a great way to unwind and relax before bed. However, if your book or tablet is not properly lit, it can cause eye strain.

9. Watching TV at Night

Any electronic device usage before bed can lead to eyestrain, pain, headaches, dry eye, and redness. The levels of light changes rapidly, forcing your eyes to work harder to process the changes and refocus.

10. Staring at Your Smartphone or Computer

Digital screens affect vision through repetition. When you stare at a smartphone or computer screen, it requires the eyes to readjust and realign what you are seeing. This requires significant effort from eye muscles and adds more strain due to fluctuations in contrast, flicker and glare. Excessive time spent looking at screens can lead to what’s referred to as “Computer vision syndrome.”

11. Bad Makeup Hygiene

Anything you put near your eyes is a potential risk for causing eye infections and bacteria. This includes your mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, and eye creams. Keep your makeup tools (including brushes) clean and never share your eye makeup with others. Also throw away your eye makeup every three months and remove your makeup before bed.

12. Overuse of Eye Drops

The most common side effects of eye drops come in general misuse. Many eye drops are not suitable for everyday use because they contain specific ingredients to relieve specific irritations and side effects. To prevent this, visit your eye doctor to discuss which eye drops would be best suited for you and your eye care needs.

13. Not Going to an Eye Doctor Regularly

Even if you do not wear glasses or contacts, you should still schedule regular eye check-ups with an optometrist, or an ophthalmologist for more serious eye care concerns. A complete eye exam is recommended every five to 10 years for those between the ages of 20 and 39, and every two to four years for those over 40.

Located in Orange County, Dr. Ghosheh and the team at Advanced Eye Medical can assist you with all eye care services and your eye-related health needs. Contact us today!