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Countdown to the Great American Eclipse

Sunshine
Countdown to the total eclipse has begun, with nine days to go until the August 21st event. Remember that if you don’t view safely, ocular complications can arise with direct exposure to the damaging sun’s rays. People who view eclipses directly without proper protection have experienced pain, tearing and even permanent eye damage. Sun injury to the eyes may not be immediately evident, and if you experience difficulties following the event, please call our office right away. Nasa has a safe viewing website with detailed information that you can visit here: eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
 
If you’re staying in Flagstaff on the 21st, Lowell Observatory may be a great choice for viewing. They will offer special hours and activities including telescope viewing and a direct link to a live stream of the total eclipse from Madras at 10:19am. The maximum eclipse viewing from Flagstaff will happen at 10:34am. lowell.edu/event/great-american-eclipse/
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June is Cataract Awareness Month!

Robert Mahanti, MD

If you find yourself in a fog and avoiding driving at night, you might have cataracts. Dr. Mahanti talks about cataract surgery in this video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdqzRhV5ARU

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Kale Reduces Risks of Developing Glaucoma

Green Flowering Kale

New research suggests a relationship between eating kale and a reduced risk of developing open-angle glaucoma. A study published by JAMA Ophthalmology found that people who ate around 240mg of nitrates from leafy greens every day were less likely to suffer from open-angle glaucoma by as much as 30%.

 
Image credit: Green Flowering Kale, by Bobbi Jones
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Avoiding driving at night? June is Cataract Awareness month

If you’re finding that you avoid night driving, or if glare is getting particularly annoying, you may be experiencing the development of cataracts. Your natural lenses within the eye become harder and less transparent with age, which is perfectly normal. A simple surgical procedure can be done to remove the aging lens and a replacement, called an intraocular lens or IOL, is implanted in its place.

See your eye care provider for a comprehensive eye exam regularly, which will reveal many different health issues, including cataracts.

Dr. Mahanti has an article that explains your surgical cataract removal options at Angie’s List. You can read the entire article here:

www.angieslist.com/articles/cataract-surgery-understanding-your-options.htm

Image credit: I See You, by George Hodan

Avoid snow blindness

Overexposure to the sun’s damaging ultra-violet (UV) rays can result in blindness caused by temporary damage to the cornea, which is similar to a sunburn. This condition, also known as photokeratitis, can be caused in regular sunny conditions, not only where it’s snowy. Snow can reflect up to 80% of the damaging light, but other sunny conditions can also damage your corneas. Other light exposure that can cause symptoms include arc welding and tanning booths.

Symptoms include a gritty feeling, tearing, pain and redness, and in some cases a loss of vision. By the time you notice symptoms of this disorder, the damage has already been done.

It’s recommended that you protect yourself in sunny conditions, particularly on the slopes, on the lake, or anywhere you’re exposed to intense light. In high altitudes where the air is thin there is more UV light, so be very cautious to protect sensitive eye tissues by wearing ski goggles, or protective sunglasses.

Children are also at risk, so by all means get those little bambinos some eye protection.

Click here to read more about photokeratitis.

Image credit: Boy Making Snow Angel, by Petr Kratochvil

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Danger danger, ultra violet is everywhere!

You already know that ultra-violet light (UV) is responsible for damage to skin and hair, but did you know that excessive UV exposure is also harmful to your eyes?

If you work or play outside for extended periods of time, or live in a high altitude or very sunny climate, you are a prime candidate for serious ultra-violet exposure.

Unlike Hemophagia in the movie, long term UV exposure can contribute to the development of certain types of cataracts, pterygiums, and also retina damage. It can also cause permanent damage to the sensitive tissues around the eye.

So how to avoid this? It’s important to shield your peepers from these harmful rays by using quality lenses. There are UV-absorbing materials and coatings for your regular eyeglass lenses, as well as special sun lenses that will filter out both visible and invisible sunlight.

Stop in or call us to discuss the best solution for your particular eyecare needs.

Read more about this topic on the American Optometric Association’s website.

Image background credit: Ultraviolet Wallpaper from Wall-pix.net

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Possibly Spooky consequences for Halloween Contacts

The Food & Drug Administration wants to educate you on decorative contact lenses. The bottom line is don’t buy from anyone except your trusted eye care provider. So unless your beauty or tobacco shop has a qualified contact lens fitter on premises, back off, because lenses sold in this manner are not legal or safe. Your eyes will thank you.