Our office promotes yearly eye health examinations for preventative eye care and up to date prescriptions. Most prescription changes are gradual and people do not realize how poorly they are seeing. Also, many eye diseases including glaucoma, and macular degeneration do not have early warning signs that are detectable by patients. Many other illnesses may also show early signs in the eyes, and many diseases can affect your vision. During your examination our Doctors will also look for signs of hypertension, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, and multiple sclerosis. Of course, an eye examination cannot take the place of a general examination by your medical doctor. However, your eyes may reveal more about your health than you know.
Stop Your Eyes from Aging
Only 32 percent of adults consider UV protection an important factor when purchasing sunglasses
Most Americans know the importance of UV blocking sunscreen to protect their skin from aging and diseases. Unfortunately, only 32 percent of Americans understand the same is true when it comes to protecting their eyes from aging and diseases. Exposure to ultraviolet rays fast forwards aging of the eyes and increases the risk for serious diseases. Exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over a period of many years increases the chance of developing cataracts, macular degeneration - the leading cause of blindness in adults - and eye cancer. A good pair of sunglasses and certain contact lenses will provide UV blocking to eliminate exposure to these harmful rays. In addition to wearing sunglasses or protective contact lenses, applying UV-blocking sunscreen around the eye area and wearing a hat will further protect the eyes and help prevent premature aging.
Set Your Sights on Eye Allergy Relief
Common medications and remedies don't cut it; doctors of optometry offer tips for alleviating seasonal eye allergies.
Eye allergies, also called "allergic conjunctivitis," are a reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens - pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander - that get in the eyes and cause inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner eyelid. While eye allergies can affect anyone, spring can be particularly hard on contact lens wearers. Even if you don't generally experience problems wearing contacts throughout most of the year, allergy season can make contacts uncomfortable. Extended wear time and infrequent lens replacement are two of the main reasons contact lens wearers face more prevalent symptoms. Forty four percent of allergy suffers use antihistamines or other medications to treat their symptoms. While antihistamines can help with typical symptoms like runny noses and sneezing, the medication can make ocular symptoms worse by reducing tear quality and quantity. To effectively treat and relieve the symptoms caused by eye allergies, patients should see their optometrist. In most cases, we can soothe allergy-related conjunctivitis with prescriptions or over-the-counter eye drops depending on the patient and his or her medical history. Eye allergies can be a nuisance and interfere with participating in recreational outdoor activities; sleep and the ability to think or concentrate. Fortunately, eye allergies can be curtailed and sometimes even prevented by following these recommendations:
- Don't touch or rub your eyes.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent to reduce allergens.
- Avoid sharing, and in some cases, wearing eye makeup.
- Never share contact lenses or contact lens cases with someone else.
The Doctors at Kennedy Vision and Health Center recommend adults have yearly eye exams. Based on an individual's eye health and the severity of their eye allergies, the eye doctor may recommend more frequent visits.
Open Your Eyes to Healthy Eating Habits
Protect Against Eye Diseases by Eating Healthier
Approximately 43 million Americans suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts, the two leading causes of vision loss and blindness. Based on research from multiple studies, there is a strong correlation between good nutrition and the prevention of these age-related eye diseases. By eating foods rich in six nutrients ― antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, essential fatty acids, vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc ― you can help protect your eye sight and vision. Research shows that 30 million (or one out of four) Americans age 40 and older suffer from some level of vision loss. Basic and clinical research has shown that nutrients in eye-healthy foods can slow vision loss and in some cases, these foods can even improve vision, while providing additional health benefits.
The Doctors at Kennedy Vision and Health Center recommend eating a diet with a variety of foods loaded with key nutrients for maintaining and improving eye health, such as lutein (LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin. The American Eye-Q® survey showed that nearly half of all Americans (48 percent) still believe carrots are the best food for eye health. While carrots do contain nutritional value by supplying the provitamin A beta-carotene which is essential for night vision, spinach and other dark, leafy greens prove to be the healthiest foods for eyes because they naturally contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Try the following foods, which contain the key nutrients for eye health:
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: Colorful fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, green beans, peas, oranges and tangerines
- Essential fatty acids: Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, or herring, whole grain foods, chicken and eggs
- Vitamin C: Fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green peppers and tomatoes
- Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, such as safflower or corn oil, almonds, pecans, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds
- Zinc: Extra-lean red meat, poultry, liver, shellfish, milk, baked beans, and whole grains
Nutrition is a component of health for the entire body, including the eyes. Along with yearly eye examinations we encourage you to incorporate nutritious ingredients into daily menus to promote healthy vision.