The eyes are extremely intricate and sensitive organs, and we at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.C. are dedicated to helping you keep them in good working order. While we are able to treat many kinds of injuries and eye conditions, some of the most common threats to your eyes can be easily minimized with nothing more than a few simple precautions. Understanding how to keep your eyes healthy is an excellent first step in maintaining the health of your eyes for many years to come.
Any activity that requires intense use of the eyes for an extended period of time, such as reading, writing, or driving, can cause eye strain, which can lead to blurred vision, difficulty focusing, and even head and neck pain. Digital devices like computer screens, smart phones, and video games may be of particular concern, as research shows that people tend to hold digital devices closer to their eyes than books or newspapers, forcing the eyes to work harder to maintain the tight focus. Moreover, blinking is necessary to lubricate and refresh the eyes and people tend to blink about half as often when they are staring at a computer screen, further contributing to eye strain. To avoid the damage of long term eye strain, most doctors recommend following the “20-20-20” rule. Simply take a break every twenty minutes and stare at something twenty feet away for at least twenty seconds. The small break and shift in focus helps keep your eyes relaxed and healthy.
There is also the threat of damage resulting from traumatic eye injury. According to the United States Eye Injury Registry summary report, more than 2.5 million eye injuries occur every year, with approximately 50,000 people permanently losing part or all of their vision. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately three out of every five workers injured were either not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job. It is even more significant to note that just over 44% of eye injuries occurred not on the job but at home or during leisure activities, where adequate eye protection is rarely, if ever, used. Overall, up to 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented with the use of appropriate eye protection. The optical center at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons offers many types of protective eyewear, including sports goggles specific to each sport. Many are designed for contact sports like basketball or soccer or to fit inside of helmets for football or baseball and are even available with prescription lenses.
Finally, environmental conditions can also cause long term damage to your eyesight. Over a period of many years, exposure to even small doses of ultraviolent UV radiation, such as that produced by the sun, can increase the risk of developing cataracts and may even cause damage to the retina, which could lead to macular degeneration later in life. Moreover, the damage that UV light causes slowly adds up over the years, often without you even being aware of it. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends wearing sunglasses that block out 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation, screen out 75-90% of visible light, and are matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection.
If you have questions about protecting your eyes or are interested in any of the many services offered at Georgia Eye, please contact us today. Be sure to follow Dr. William Segal and Dr. Marc Lay on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips for healthy eyes.