The number of people spending numerous hours a day on their cell phones, tablets, and computers has risen dramatically in the past few years. In fact, roughly 90% of us spend at least a couple of hours a day on devices. The question on many minds is whether the human eye can handle that much use or will a majority of people face ocular conditions down the road.
It is always challenging to gauge the long-term effects of lifestyle changes and new technology, but optometrists are already seeing their patients complain of more dry eye issues. When we concentrate on a computer screen, cell phone or other digital device, we naturally blink less. If you’ve ever noticed burning and itchiness, you should be concerned that your eyes aren’t getting the tearing they need for optimal health. Blue light that emits from devices is also a concern, but we just don’t know the long-term ramifications yet.
There are a few things you can do to avoid ocular conditions both in the short and long term. First, take breaks. A good rule of thumb is to take a break every 20 minutes. Look away for at least 20 seconds, preferably to something across the room. Concentrate on blinking. Although it comes naturally, if you think about it, you can avoid the reduction in blinking that happens. Practice good posture that will keep you a safe distance from your computer screen and be sure to position the screen to reduce glare. It is best not to tilt it upward. There is also specialized eyewear that can reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. Talk about this and other ways to avoid ocular conditions with your optometrist.
Finally, if you can’t reduce your screen time, which is also recommended, be sure to schedule regular visits with your optometrist to check for ocular conditions and keep your eyes healthy. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry.
Eye health is essential to being able to perform routine tasks and enjoy our daily lives. Sometimes we experience eye issues that we don’t feel require emergency treatment, but an eye care professional may still need to know you are experiencing the symptoms. Here are five common ocular conditions that may be treatable by your primary eye physician.
1. Dry Eyes – Our tear glands produce tears that help moisturize our eyes. When our tear glands do not make enough tears or produce poor quality tears, it may result in dry, itchy eyes. A humidifier or eye drops may be recommended to resolve this issue.
2. Tearing – When we are sensitive to light, wind or temperature changes, our tear glands may begin producing additional tears to help alleviate and moisturize the eyes. Make sure to wear protective glasses when outdoors and have your eye physician check for eye infections or clogged tear ducts.
3. Cataracts – A cloudy film that develops on the lens of the eye, cataracts are an ocular condition that can cause blurry vision and prevent light from filtering through the eye. Cataracts often form slowly and may not have any alarming symptoms. However, it is common now to use surgery to have cataracts removed if they begin to cause vision problems.
4. Floaters – Specks or spots that float across your vision can be a nuisance. Especially noticeable on a bright day outside, floaters can cross your field of vision, making it difficult to see. Many people experience harmless floaters on a regular basis, but it is good to have this checked, as it may be an indicator of something that needs further attention.
5. Glaucoma – Glaucoma is an ocular condition in which the pressure in the eye increases, potentially causing damage to the optic nerve. While some pressure in the eye is normal, pressure that is too high may cause permanent eye damage. Often glaucoma has no symptoms of pain, so it is important to have your eye pressure checked during your routine eye exams.
Routine eye exams are an excellent way to check for common ocular conditions and treat them at the early stages to prevent future vision problems. At Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry, we can walk you through the causes and treatments and help you find improved eye health.
There are a number of eye diseases and ocular conditions that have no early symptoms, but are far more treatable when found before they become advanced. This is why having routine eye exams is so important. At Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry, we want to give you the best chance at optical health, so we perform a comprehensive eye exam designed to find any ocular conditions that may be present.
Here are a few of the things we watch for during eye exams:
- Macular Degeneration – This is an age-related ocular condition in which there is a physical disturbance in the macula, which is the centre of the retina.
- Cataracts – This is an ocular condition in which the lens of your eye becomes opaque, thereby affecting your vision. While it is most commonly found in the aged, it can also happen in rare cases in infants, young children and young adults.
- Retinitis & Iritis– People with immune disorders sometimes get this serious inflammation of the retina or iris that must be treated quickly to prevent ocular tissue damage. Some immune disorders that can cause this are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sjogrens, and ankylosing spondylitis.
- Strabismus – This is the term for crossed eyes, which is an alignment issue that can be caused by a muscular imbalance or high refractive error.
- Floaters – Patients can usually tell when they have this particular ocular condition because they experience small bits of cloudiness, strands or spots in their vision that are not related to something actually being in the eye.
- Glaucoma – This is a serious problem, as it is a build-up of fluid that, over time, will damage the optic nerve (due to the pressure created) and cause tunnel vision.
- Amblyopia – This is a condition commonly known as “lazy eye” in which one eye is not doing the work that it should. This is usually found in children, but if untreated it can carry over into adulthood. If detected early in childhood, this would be prevented.
We strive to treat our Newmarket, ON patients with the best eye exams possible to diagnose and treat ocular conditions at the earliest stage possible. Routine eye exams are the key to doing this, so please call today to make an appointment for everyone in your family.