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Home » What's New » Your Eyes Are Seeing The Blues

Your Eyes Are Seeing The Blues

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When it comes to the use of digital devices, there are plenty of worries in today’s fast-paced world. According to recent surveys, 60% of American adults are on their digital devices more than six hours per day, 28% exceed 10 hours per day. More alarming, 85% of parents report that their children use devices for more than 4 hours a day! Inevitably, as more electronic classroom time is incorporated in schools these numbers will increase. Hours of screen time add up to eyestrain and the possibility of serious eye and health risks associated with short wavelength blue light.

Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eye Strain, is caused by overuse of electronic devices and can manifest in many ways. It is associated with tired, burning, watering, blurred vision, double vision, light sensitivity, headache, fatigue, tearing, eye dryness and trouble focusing.

Recent studies also suggest that prolonged use of electronics may be responsible for more serious long-term eye and health problems as well. The focus of these investigations is the short wavelength blue light that is believed to have adverse effects on eye health. This spectrum of high energy visible (HEV) blue light is all around us - emitted by the sun, LED lights, smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Today’s screens and LED lights are more brilliant in color, brightness, and clarity and emit significantly more (HEV) blue light than their older counterparts. Our retinas, lining in the back of the eye, contain photosensitive nerve cells that are susceptible to the blue wavelengths. Blue light exposure can cause disruption of these cells and lead to a decrease in melatonin production.

Melatonin plays a key role in regulating sleep, blood glucose and blood pressure. It’s also a powerful antioxidant linked to decreasing risk of cancer. In addition, the blue light can damage the eye itself and lead to cataracts, retinal damage and macular degeneration (a disease that can cause loss of vision). Thus, exposure to electronics and LED lighting, especially before bedtime, can create long-term health consequences.

WAYS YOU CAN DECREASE DIGITAL EYE STRAIN AND HEV BLUE LIGHT EXPOSURE

1. Have a yearly eye exam: An optometrist can detect early signs of cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration and recommend ways to protect your vision.

2. Blocking the blue: Use blue light limiting settings or a filter screen on your digital devices and blue light filtering lenses in your glasses.

3. Choose smart lighting options: New light bulb technologies with low blue light emission are available.

4. 20/20/20 Rule: Every  20 minutes,  take a  20-second break  and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.

5. Blink frequently: when staring at a screen we blink less frequently which causes the surface of the eye to dry out.

6. Eat a healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats, and high in omega-3’s, carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin to protect the retina. Limiting exposure to LED and electronics is the obvious method of cutting down on the potential damage from the blue light. Dietary changes, not smoking and being meticulous about sun protection is also recommended. Most electronics have a low blue wavelength setting or a monitor filter may be used.

An annual comprehensive eye exam is an important part of your health maintenance. Call our office to schedule your eye exam today and let us keep your eyes healthy and not seeing the blues!

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

COVID-19 Updates

Dear Valued Patients,

We have missed you and are excited to reopen on Wednesday May 27th, 2020! We are following CDC and American Optometric guidelines on reopening. This has been a very difficult and stressful time for all and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

We will have limited hours of operation for now.

Our new schedule for the near future will be: Mondays 11-5, Wednesdays 11-5, and Saturdays 11-2.

Patients will be seen on an appointment-only basis for the time being.

We are implementing the strict protocol in the office to keep you and our staff safe.

▪  Our doctor & staff will wear face masks & will actively disinfect every room between patients.

▪  Anyone entering the office will be required to wear a facemask and use hand sanitizer upon entry (facemasks with valves are NOT allowed unless another mask is worn on top of it as they do not follow CDC guidelines). We CANNOT make any exceptions at this time and do not accept any waivers. This is to protect our staff, patients and our families.

▪  Appointment times are spaced further apart to ensure social distancing.

▪  No walk-ins will be allowed at this time.

▪  All patients will be required to have the OPTOMAP (Retinal Photography) at a reduced rate to minimize patient contact.

▪  All patients will be required to download, fill out, and bring the intake forms found on the website http://www.eyecareofaustin.com under Patient History form section.

▪  All payments and copayments will be taken over the phone prior to appointments.

▪  Doctor will have video or phone interview about reasons for visits and symptoms, as well as COVID-19 screening questions prior to appointment. We will send you a link for a video chat. This will reduce the time spent in the office and allow face to face conversation before your appointment.

▪  All patients will be required to sign a document stating the following: You have not been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, have traveled recently, or are feeling feverish.

▪  We will be screening all patients for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 has traveled recently or feeling feverish, will be rescheduled at least 14 days out.

▪  Please come to your appointment alone unless you are a minor and require adult supervision or require medical assistance. We will allow one caregiver inside with each patient if necessary.

▪  All instruments will be thoroughly sanitized between each patient.

▪  Discussions with doctor and staff will be kept to a minimum. Follow up phone calls or telehealth

video conferencing will be used as often as possible.

▪  Intensive staff training to ensure a safe, clean, and healthy environment for all of our patients and staff has been implemented.

▪  We will be contacting patients who are currently on the schedule to confirm dates and times. We will do our best to reschedule canceled appointments and find available times in the upcoming weeks.

As always, feel free to contact our office with any questions or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely, Eyecare of Austin

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