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4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Thu, Apr 26, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

Computer screen blue lightThe device you are reading this blog on is illuminated by a very specific type of light known as blue light.  This short wavelength of light may not seem like much to you, but as we rely increasingly on devices that use it, researchers are spending greater amounts of time investigating the potential side effects.  Unfortunately, many of them are not good.  For instance, blue light can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, or internal clock, at night, leading to sleep disruptions.  It may also be linked to the development of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration in the long run.  Of course, we understand that it may be impossible to fully escape electronic devices such as your computer or phone, but there are precautions you can take.  Here are four ways that you can help reduce your blue light exposure:

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light blocking eye glasses are becoming increasingly available to help reduce the negative effects of this light form.  With lenses designed to filter out blue light, these glasses may just help protect your eyes from future problems and help prevent sleep disruption.  While the jury is still out on how effective these glasses are, they may just be worth looking into for those who spend several hours per day in front of a screen.

Blue Light Screen Protectors

You likely already have a screen protector on your phone, so why not use one that can also reduce your blue light exposure?  Products like Ocushield serve double duty by accomplishing both.  You may even find it preferable to your phone’s own settings (like Apple’s Night Shift), because it doesn’t interfere with the color quality of your screen.

Dim Red Light Bulbs as a Blue Light Alternative

Electronics aren’t the only source of blue light we encounter day-to-day.  Those energy efficient, LED light bulbs are a source too.  This means that even if you aren’t looking at a screen prior to bed, your bedroom lights may still be causing a sleep problem.  Consider using dim, red light bulbs at night to give the room a soft glow that won’t bother your eyes or your sleep.

Blue Light Reducing Apps and Software

Your phone may use a similar setting already.  If not, there are apps and software available that allow your device to mimic the natural shift of sunlight.  Again, this is an option that may help you sleep better at night by minimizing disruption of circadian rhythms.  However, long-term use may also help protect your eye health by reducing your overall blue light exposure.

There are more threats to eye health than many realize.  Fortunately, the dangers of blue light have been well-publicized, prompting many to take action now and protect their eye health into the future.  Use the products above to help control your own blue light exposure, and always maintain regular eye exams to keep your vision strong and healthy.  Contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana to request an appointment.

 7 Unhealthy Habits That Are Harming Your Vision

 

 

Tags: Healthy Eye Tips, Bad Habits for Eye Health

Top Bad Habits Your Baton Rouge Eye Doctor Wants You to Break in 2017

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 @ 04:52 PM

top-bad-habits-your-baton-rouge-eye-doctor-wants-you-to-break-in-2017Do you smoke?  Do you leave your contacts in round-the-clock?  If so, we’re talking to you.  We all have our share of bad habits, but there are some in particular of which your eye doctor would seriously disapprove.  While you likely don’t realize it, these habits and others can cause some serious damage within your eyes.  Eye health is something often taken for granted, but once damage occurs it can be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to fully repair.  

In 2017, resolve to break these three common bad habits affecting your vision:

Not Taking Out Contacts - In 2011, a study found that as many as 67% of contact lens wearers use their contacts for longer than the recommended time.  While it may not seem very important to change out contacts regularly, leaving them in can have damaging effects.  Of those participants who disregarded the manufacturer timeframes, nearly one quarter experienced adverse side effects such as corneal abrasions or conjunctivitis. 

Even with proper care and cleaning, contacts may still develop a buildup of environmental irritants over time.  In order to avoid the complications that this may cause, set reminders to switch out your contacts with a new pair within the recommended amount of time.

Smoking - Smoking has long been linked to cancer, stroke, and heart disease, but research has revealed that it also takes a damaging toll on eyesight.  Age-related vision loss due to macular degeneration or cataracts is much more likely in regular tobacco users.  In fact, studies have found that the risk of developing cataracts for smokers is nearly double that of non-smokers.

While the damage may not be able to be completely undone, quitting smoking can drastically reduce the risk of developing these conditions and can keep the eyes protected in years to come.

Not Wearing Sunglasses - UV rays not only have a damaging effect on skin, they can also be harmful for eyes.  Among the conditions which may result from over exposure of the eyes to UV rays are cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae and pterygia (growths on the eye), and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea). 

To ensure that your eyes are completely protected, choose sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection and also absorb most HEV (high-energy visible) radiation.  Additionally, a close-fitting wraparound style will keep as few rays as possible from reaching the eye.

These three habits represent just a few that may take a negative toll on eyesight and general eye health.  To learn more, click the image below for access to our free guide.  If you are in the Baton Rouge area and would like to schedule an eye exam to help better determine your own eye health, click here to request an appointment with Eye Specialists of Louisiana.

 7 Unhealthy Habits That Are Harming Your Vision

Tags: Bad Habits for Eye Health

The Link Between Aspirin and Vision Loss

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

aspirin and vision loss

Aspirin is well-known for its benefits as a multipurpose medication.  Its anti-inflammatory properties have proven it to be effective for purposes other than simple pain relief.  Doctors frequently recommend daily aspirin regimens to high-risk patients to ward off heart attack or stroke.  It’s also been shown to be beneficial in patients with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and is even being recognized for its ability to slow the production of certain types of cancerous cells.  However, despite this long list of benefits, patients are still encouraged not to begin an aspirin regimen unless advised to do so by their physician and for good reason.


Even though the host of benefits from aspirin is impressive, as with any medication, there will be the possibility of negative side effects.  Because it can affect the blood’s ability to clot, aspirin is often found to be a contributor to gastrointestinal bleeding and peptic ulcers.  It is also not recommended for patients with kidney disease, asthma, or uncontrolled high blood pressure. Now, research is also indicating that regular use of aspirin may be a contributing factor to macular degeneration in some.

 

Macular degeneration is a chronic condition that leads to vision loss in the center field of vision.  It is commonly found in older patients and is the leading cause of age-related vision loss.  However, studies are now revealing that wet macular degeneration, or that which is caused by blood vessels under the retina rupturing and forming scar tissue, may be directly contributed to by the intake of aspirin for many patients.  Previously, smoking had been the only factor outside of age which appeared to play a role in the disease.

 

While the link between taking aspirin and the development of wet macular degeneration is not yet proven conclusive, patients should still be cautious.  For the sake of your eyesight, you should take these steps before beginning an aspirin regimen to determine if it’s right for you:

 

  1. Speak to Your Ophthalmologist – Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to have an exam and ask any questions you may have.  Depending on your age and any pre-existing eye conditions, they can help you determine if regular aspirin intake is safe for your vision.

  2. Speak to Your Primary Care Physician – Because aspirin has the ability to affect more than just your eyesight, it’s important to speak to your regular doctor as well.  He or she can advise appropriately based on your medical history.

  3. Consider Pre-existing Conditions – Certain conditions have been shown to be negatively impacted by regular use of aspirin.  While you should always consult your physician, you should exercise additional caution if you already suffer from conditions such as bleeding and clotting disorders or stomach ulcers.

     

Aspirin can be of great benefit to many patients, in particular those with heart disease.  However, there may also be negative impact on the body from an aspirin regimen, including the possible development of wet macular degeneration.  By simply taking some cautionary measures beforehand, you can ensure that implementing a regular, daily dose of aspirin is the best choice for you.

 

If you currently take aspirin or are considering doing so, contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana to first schedule a consultation.  Our ophthalmologists can help you learn more about your eye health and whether you may be at an increased risk for development of macular degeneration based on a number of factors.  You can request your consultation by clicking here or calling our office directly at (225) 768-7777.

16 Reasons To Visit An Ophthalmologist

Tags: Bad Habits for Eye Health

How Smoking Will Harm Your Vision

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 @ 12:52 PM

smoking and vision

Throughout our nation’s history, tobacco use has been prevalent, with its peak occurring in the 1950s.  Even today, according to the CDC, an approximate 43.8 million adults, or 19% of the U.S. adult population, continue to smoke.  Undeniably, the habit is difficult to break.  However, smoking has been proven to carry many detrimental side effects, especially for regular and long-term users.  Most well-known among those side effects are cancer, heart disease, and stroke.  However, few realize the harmful impact that smoking has on vision as well.

 

Cigarette smoke has been proven to be highly toxic.  It contains harmful compounds such as tar, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde.  Over time, these compounds take their toll on your eyes, along with the rest of your body.  Researchers have found direct links between smoking and two major causes of vision loss:

 
  • Cataracts

Research indicates that the risk of developing cataracts is doubled in individuals who smoke.  For heavy smokers, the risk triples.  As cataracts develop, they cause the clear lens of the eye to become cloudy.  The result is increasingly blurred vision which may even require surgery to help alleviate.  It is believed that smoking contributes to the condition through oxidation which alters the cells of the eye’s lens.  Additionally, smoking may also cause accumulation of cadmium and other heavy metals in the lens. 

 

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The macula is the center of the retina and is responsible for the perception of fine details and direct line of sight.  Over time, the tissue of the macula may thin and break down, resulting in blurred vision and a decreased ability to see details and colors.  As with cataracts, researchers are finding that the risk for macular degeneration increases proportionately with how frequently an individual smokes.  Similar to the effect on the lens, the macula is believed to be susceptible to changes in the cells due to oxidation.  Furthermore, it is believed that smoking leads to restricted blood flow to the retina, increasing the likelihood for these conditions.

 

Fortunately, the cessation of smoking has the ability to help avoid these potential conditions, as well as reverse some of the damage that may have already been done.  For instance, according to Cancer.org, carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal within 12 hours of quitting and circulation improves within 2 weeks to 3 months.  While the risk for developing cataracts or age-related macular degeneration will always be higher for former smokers, quitting can reduce that risk by up to 20% when compared with current smokers. 

 

If you currently smoke or have in the past, your eye health should be top of mind.  Keep up with regular eye exams, and mention any concerns such as blurriness or less vibrant colors to your doctor.  The physicians at Eye Specialists of Louisiana are passionate about caring for your eyes and helping you maintain optimal vision.  To schedule an appointment, please contact our office.

7 Unhealthy Habits That Are Harming Your Vision

Tags: Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Bad Habits for Eye Health

16 Reason To Visit An Ophthalmologist

16 Reasons To Visit An Ophthalmologist

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