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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Maui Jim Sunglasses

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! This month and every month, remember to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh, damaging ultra-violet and high-energy rays. Stop in to learn about the differences in sunglasses. We carry beautiful sunglass styles including the protective PolarizedPlus2® sunglasses from Maui Jim.

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Blue Light Series – Part 4 – Supplements, By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

AMD Before After simulation

Last week we gave you an overview of various lenses and screen filters that block blue light from ever reaching your eyes. This week we will focus on supplements designed to protect your eyes from the inside.

THE SOLUTION – Supplements

As mentioned in an earlier post, when light hits your photoreceptors a biochemical reaction occurs and a waste product is formed (free radicals). Normally, your body can get rid of these free radicals on its own, but in cases like Macular Degeneration (AMD) it struggles to keep up. The waste products build up over time and start to affect your vision. If left untreated, you can go blind.

Scientific evidence has shown that Mild AMD can be prevented from progressing to Moderate or Severe AMD by adding Lutein and Zeaxanthin to your diet in the form of a supplement (AREDS 2 formula). If you are a smoker or have quit recently, you will want to take the beta-carotene free version. This will lower your risk of developing lung cancer as a side effect of the supplement.

As it relates to our blue light discussion, your retina is most sensitive blue light, and an increase in blue light absorption is likely to increase your risk for AMD. While there is currently no study suggesting that adding these to your diet now can prevent any signs or symptoms of AMD, adding these supplements certainly won’t hurt your ocular health. Future studies may show that the supplements do in fact perform the way the manufacturers currently claim. Below is a link two such websites:

http://luteinforeveryage.com/eye-skin-brain-health/intro-to-eye-health/blue-light

http://omniactives.com/press-releases/new-study-on-lutemax-2020-supporting-vision-featured-in-experimental-eye-research-journal

To discuss your risk for developing AMD, schedule your yearly Routine Eye Exam. Also, to learn more about blue blocking technology visit our optical.

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Blue Light Series – Part 3 – The Solution, By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

Our last post had some disturbing news about negative consequences of blue light. These next three posts will each discuss a specific way to limit your exposure to blue light.

THE SOLUTION – Lenses and Screen filters

Most of you that wear glasses are already aware of anti-reflective (AR) coatings and their benefit. Another coating to be mindful of is a blue-blocker. These can be added to your glasses or can be available as screen filters/protectors to prevent the blue light from ever reaching your eyes. Every lens manufacturer has their own blue-blocking technology and many are included in the AR coatings. Below is a link to one manufacturer:

http://shamirlens.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=16637&Itemid=548

Other companies make glasses specifically for computers and this digital age. They are mostly for nonprescription glasses, but some of their frames are compatible with your prescription. Below is one such company:

https://gunnar.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr4We8N7u2AIViYePCh3pXg8fEAAYASAAEgIoY_D_BwE

Next are screen filters/protectors, depending on your device this might be an easier option than glasses. If you are someone who has never worn or doesn’t like to wear glasses this could also be more preferable. Of course, you can use both the screens and the glasses for even more comfort. Below are some screens for small and large devices:

https://www.reticare.com/buy/en/

https://retinaguardstore.com/

Additionally, there are settings on your computers and Apps available for all devices to limit the blue light they emit. Below is one tutorial and one list of Apps:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-use-a-blue-light-filter-on-pc-mac/

https://www.lifewire.com/reduce-eye-strain-with-blue-light-filter-apps-4134615

For another compilation of resources follow this link:

https://glarminy.com/2015/07/30/10-blue-light-filters-to-relieve-computer-eye-strain-help-you-sleep-better-etc/

Next time we will discuss supplements that are available to protect your eyes from the inside. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.

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What is Blue Light? By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

Prism and light

Last post, we discussed Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and how proper ergonomics with proper blinking can improve your screen time with electronic devices. Over the next few posts, we will focus on ways to prevent possible damage from the blue light emitted from your electronic devices and LED lights.

What is BLUE LIGHT?

Back to high school physics, light is composed of photons, and those photons travel in waves. White light when separated by a prism or a refractive surface (your eye) can be isolated into different colors (think of the Pink Floyd album cover for The Dark Side of the Moon). Each color has its own specific wavelength.

As we have switched from traditional incandescent light bulbs and old generation TVs to LED lights and LED screens for cell phones, tablets, PCs, etc., the wavelengths of the light emitted has changed from longer wavelengths (reds/yellows) to shorter wavelengths (blues). This change is different from natural light sources (the Sun, fire), and scientists are discovering that there are physiologic consequences.

Follow us next time as we discuss the potential problems blue light has on our bodies and specifically our eyes. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.

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Computer Vision Syndrome, Are You at Risk? by Dr. Clingan, OD

Well done!  You have just survived another holiday season.  You made sure everyone got what they wanted including all those fancy new computers, tablets, phones, video games, TVs, etc…  A common question we face a lot is, how long should I or my family be spending on our electronic devices?  While there are no hard time limits established in the scientific community, there are a few simple daily practices you can utilize to make your viewing experiences safer from ocular complications.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a multi-factorial problem that can lead to many eye problems or exacerbate other eye diseases like dry eye.  Common symptoms after prolonged use of electronic devices include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Which can result from:

  • Poor lighting
  • Glare on a digital screen
  • Improper viewing distances
  • Poor seating posture
  • Uncorrected vision problems
  • A combination of these factors

A few quick tips to alleviate some symptoms are:

  • 20/20/20 Rule
  • Blinking exercises
  • Reduce glare from overhead light or windows
  • Better ergonomics

Also, an updated glasses prescription with an anti-reflective coating is always a great place to start and enhance your viewing.  Please make an appointment today and our eye care specialists will keep your eyes healthy in this digital age.

For further education click on these links and videos below:

https://www.vsp.com/computer-vision-syndrome.html

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wMqzF6_q9s

Low vision accessible article on computer vision syndrome: http://www.samaldesign.net/computer-vision-syndrome-digital-eye-strain-mitigating-damage/ 

Image from AOA.org

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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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July is Ultra-Violet (UV) Light Awareness Month

SALT Optics Elkins Sunglass

Did you know that UV light can damange your eyes in addition to your skin? There are quite a few different problems that can arise from over exposure to UV light. Dr. Danoff explains this quite well in this short video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITFY2SVWc2w

Wearing sunglasses that filter out 100% of both UVA and UVB are recommended. Stop in to see our 2017 collection. The frame featured here is the SALT Optics Elkins modeled by Julia at SALT Optics.

 

 

 

Image credit: Julie Wear Elkins Sunglass by SALT Optics

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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