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Think About Your Eyes Before Jumping Into the Pool This Summer

Summer Splashes Can Cause Harmful Damage 

There is no better way to beat the heat than by taking a splash into a cool, crisp swimming pool. When we hit the pool, we often follow the rules of no running, no diving, wear sunscreen, but what about the rules to protect your eyes?

Swimming can be hard on your eyes and cause a symptom called swimmer’s eye—irritation and redness from the water’s chlorine—and can eventually lead to damaging infections or conditions.

If you are planning on heading to the pool this summer, keep reading to learn about the harmful effects from swimming pools and how you can prevent them.

The Harsh Effects of Swimming Pools

Swimming pools mainly affect the tear film in your eyes. Tear film coats the surface of your eyes and allows them to stay moist and clear. But chlorine and other pool chemicals wash it off and give us those red, itchy eyes while swimming. And if this happens consistently—say swimming in a pool every day of the summer—it can lead to dry eye syndrome.

Without your tear film, your eyes can also get infected or damaged from all the bacteria and chemicals floating around in the water. Even worse, if the bacteria survive the chlorine, it can cause pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis.

How to Protect Your Eyes While Swimming

So, to prevent swimmer’s eye, dry eye syndrome or pink eye putting a damper on your summer pool days, here are our top four tips to swim safely while still having fun:

Wear goggles. You may think that goggles are just for professional swimming, scuba diving or snorkeling, but any time you splash into a pool, you should wear protection. Goggles are the ultimate protection from chlorine and pool chemicals. There are also goggles made with SPF protection found in some retail stores.

Splash off your eyes. Every time you get out of the pool, try to get into the habit of washing your eyes off with fresh water. The water will wipe away any residual chlorine or chemicals on your eyelashes and eyelids. On top of that, it will soothe your eyes if they are irritated or red from the pool water.

Use eye drops. To help keep your tear film balanced, use artificial tears or eye drops before and after swimming. And just like fresh water, they will help reduce any irritation and redness from the chlorine.  It is best to use a preservative-free drop, but there are other artificial tears on the market such as Refresh or Blink.

Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can hinder tear production and disrupt your tear film. Without your tear film, you will be even more susceptible to the bacteria living in the pool. While the pool cools you down, it does not hydrate you. Don’t forget to take short breaks and drink up some H2O.

If you have any more questions about keeping your eyes safe and healthy while swimming around this summer, contact Dr. Logan at Logan Eye Care in Lake Mary, Florida.

Why Sunglasses Are So Important for Eye Health

The Sun’s Rays Can Cause Life-Long Damaging Effects

While we tend to wear sunglasses that are stylish or chic, these shades serve as much more than a fashion statement. Their main purpose is to protect our eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can be extremely harmful.

In light of National Sunglasses Day on June 27th, our team at Logan Eye Care wanted to talk about the short-term and long-term damage that UV rays can cause and how to properly shield your eyes with sunglasses.

Why You Should Wear Sunglasses

Most people know UV rays are harmful on our skin, but some might not know that they are just as bad for our eyes. Hanging out on the beach, running errands around town or just doing daily tasks outside without sunglasses can cause some of the following damaging eye conditions:

Cataracts

A cataract occurs when your eye’s natural lens begins to cloud and causes blurred vision. About 20 percent of cataract cases are caused by excessive UV exposure.

Macular degeneration

The leading cause of blindness in the U.S., macular degeneration results from deterioration to the retina, which damages central vision. Extended exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing macular degeneration.

Pinguecula

Pinguecula is a growth that forms yellow spots or bumps on your conjunctiva, the clear, thin membrane covering the white part of your eye. Pinguecula often appears on the side of your eye near your nose and causes dryness, irritation, blurred vision and sometimes feels like there is something in your eye.

Pterygium

Sometimes starting as pinguecula, pterygium causes a wedge-shaped bump to form on your eyeball, starting on the white of the eye and can eventually invade the cornea. Pterygium can disfigure the eye and cause blurry vision.

How to Choose the Right Sunglasses

To prevent any damaging or irreversible effects on your eyes, it is important to choose the right sunglasses. To make sure your eyes are getting their fullest protection, keep these tips in mind:

Look for sunglasses that have 100 percent UVA and UVB radiation protection.

The bigger, the better—buy sunglasses that give you full protection and even wrap around so sun cannot enter from the sides.
Do not let color influence your decision. Certain colored lenses do not block more sun.

Take the steps today to protect your eyes. If you are looking for a pair of sunglasses or even prescription sunglasses to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, contact Logan Eye Care.

How to Slow Down Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AREDS Has Proven Nutrients to Help You Keep Your Vision

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a serious eye condition that millions suffer from every year. It is the irreversible deterioration of the macula, a tiny area of the retina that is responsible for our central or “straight-ahead” vision. The macula allows the eye to discern detail and provides our color vision.

Although AMD does not lead to complete blindness, it does impair daily activities, such as driving, reading, writing, cooking and the ability to see faces. Macular degeneration is fairly widespread, affecting about 11 million people in the U.S. who are 60 years or older. The number of those affected is projected to reach 22 million by 2050.

Specific nutrients have been proven to reduce the progression of AMD. It is important to familiarize yourself with these options because AMD progresses at different speeds for every person.

AREDS

The age-related eye disease study (AREDS) conducted by the National Eye Institute (NEI) is the “only large-scale randomized controlled clinical trial.” It revealed a beneficial effect of nutritional supplementation of 25 percent in reducing the risk of progression in patients diagnosed with intermediate or advanced levels of macular degeneration.

Based on results from advanced AMD and a five-year follow up, the recommended AREDS formulation includes beta-carotene, zinc with copper and vitamins C and E.

AREDS recommends only those with intermediate and advanced AMD to take these supplements, as there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend preventive use of the supplements for healthy adults.

AREDS2

AREDS2, the second study conducted to improve the original AREDS formula, found that lutein and zeaxanthin, when taken together, showed to be a safer and more effective alternative to beta-carotene. The AREDS 2 formula has powerful anti-aging properties for patients.

A common concern among consumers is whether they can continue to take their daily multivitamins. The AREDS formulation actually supplies consumers with much higher doses of vitamins and minerals than can be found in the typical multi-vitamin pill, so there is no need to continue taking one while on the AREDS recommended formulation.

People who suffer this vision impairment should learn about the proven benefits of the formulations produced by the AREDS and AREDS2.
Whether you have intermediate or advanced AMD, or you are simply curious about your chances, it is important to stay informed. Visit Logan Eye Care to learn more about these supplements and speak to Dr. Logan about the best option for you.

Are You a Candidate for Intraocular Lenses?

How Intraocular Lenses Work for Many Patients

Are you living with cataracts or exploring your options to sharpen your vision? You may have heard the term “intraocular lenses” from a friend who saw success with this type of correction or an eye doctor getting to know your vision needs. But, what exactly are those lenses and how can they work for you? Here’s what you need to know about the different types of intraocular lenses and whether they are right for you

What Are Multifocal Intraocular Lenses?

Multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) offer cataract patients or baby boomers the chance to reduce their dependency on glasses or contacts because they are implanted inside the eye to correct vision both up close and far away.
Before multifocal IOLs, this surgery was performed to provide patients with clearer distance vision—think driving or watching TV. When it came time to read the menu at a restaurant or work on the computer, these patients needed to wear bifocals or reading glasses to correct presbyopia—loss of near vision focus—brought on by surgery. With multifocal IOLs, presbyopia can be addressed and corrected, so you can seamlessly transition from one activity to the next without the need to pull out your glasses.
In instances where patients need astigmatic correction, multifocal toric IOLs are available for those patients. The toric IOL component corrects the patient’s astigmatism.
Although multifocal IOLs may not be able to fully correct vision in all patients, most patients report they can go glasses-free comfortably or only need glasses for certain activities. Multifocal IOLs are available for patients with and without astigmatism.

Are You a Candidate for Multifocal IOLs?

While multifocal IOLs offer the convenience of being less dependent on glasses, there may be some compromise in the quality of vision. Accepting or refusing this compromise plays a big role in determining if you are a good candidate for multifocal IOLs.
Multifocal IOLs are ideal for patients with cataracts and are best implanted during laser cataract surgery to ensure proper placement for the best results. To be a candidate for multifocal IOLs, your eye specialist may require choosing a laser procedure for your cataract surgery. For a small percentage of patients, a LASIK enhancement procedure may be necessary to obtain the desired surgical result.
Finally, other pre-existing conditions, like macular degeneration, may mean multifocal IOLs are not right for you. However, only your eye doctor can recommend the best plan of action to regain your vision.  A thorough pre-operative consultation would address if you are considered an ideal surgical patient.

Other IOL Considerations

Implantable Collamer Lens
If you are between 21 and 45 years old and have moderate to severe myopia, implantable collamer lens (ICL) may be your answer. During the procedure, an eye surgeon will place a permanent soft lens called the ICL behind your iris, which makes it unnoticeable to the naked eye, and can correct extreme nearsightedness.

Refractive Lens Exchange
In the absence of cataracts, refractive lens exchange (RLE) can correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, and presbyopia. During the surgery, your natural lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens to give you sharper vision.

If you are exploring your vision correction options and are unsure which procedure best suits your needs, make an appointment with Dr. Logan today. She can advise you the right direction to start seeing your best.

Can Blue Light Affect Your Vision?

Setting the Facts Straight About Blue Light

Whether you are scrolling through your phone, typing on your laptop or watching a movie on your tablet, your eyes are exposed to blue light.
The largest source of blue light is sunlight, and you often encounter other sources that contain it, like fluorescent lights and LED lights. But, you tend to look at blue light through electronic devices much closer and for longer lengths of time.
We live and work in the digital age and spend hours upon hours every week staring into our screens. So that begs the question, will this consistently close exposure give you eye problems down the road? Let’s take a look.

How Can Blue Light Affect Me?

There is no scientific evidence that shows blue light exposure from your digital devices can negatively affect your vision. The discomfort you feel after staring at a screen is called digital eye strain.
Some recent, laboratory studies have shown that there is a chance that blue light affects light-sensitive cells in your retina (the layer at the back of the eye). These changes in the retina resemble macular degeneration, a disease, which causes vision loss.
Although scientists need to conduct more research to learn how much blue artificial light the human eye can handle, eye doctors are concerned it can increase the risk of macular degeneration. To decrease this possible risk, there are a few options you can weave into your daily life to reduce your blue light exposure.

Ways to Reduce Blue Light Exposure

The 20-20-20 Rule

This rule gives you a break from your electronic devices and helps with digital eye strain. Every 20 minutes, find an object at least 20 feet away and stare at it for 20 seconds. Even though it’s difficult taking multiple breaks for long periods of time, try staying consistent and set an alarm every 20 minutes to remind yourself.

Blue Light Filters

There are a variety of companies that offer screen protectors or built-in technology for phones, tablets and desktops that filter blue light. You don’t have to worry about the filter changing the display or color because these protectors do not heavily distort the viewing experience.

Computer Glasses

Similar to the screen protectors, computer glasses can block blue light. They can be purchased without a prescription or worn along with contacts. But, if you wear eyeglasses, they can be prescribed specifically for when you are looking at electronic devices.

Although scientists haven’t fully discovered the risks of blue light, it’s best to take preventive measures against it to keep our eyes healthy and safe for years to come.

At Logan Eye Care, we make it our goal to provide the best eye care available in Lake Mary. If you are interested prescription computer glasses or have further questions on blue light, schedule your appointment with Dr. Logan today.