5 Recommendations for Healthy Vision Month

by MikeMeehan 5/18/2017 9:17 AM

Sight could be one of the five senses that we take for granted the most. The National Eye Institute (NIH) says more than 23 million Americans (age 18 and older) have never had an eye exam. That is why Healthy Vision Month is important. Started in 2003, the NIH promotes Healthy Vision Month to encourage us to make eye health a priority. This year the focus is women’s eye health. The NIH made it easy for you to recognize the occasion with five steps to keep your eyes healthy. Check these off your list and keep them in mind not just this month, but all year. Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam–Schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam with your vision care provider. Some common eye diseases do not have early symptoms, but a comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect these diseases in the early stages. Use protective eyewear–Make sure you and your family are using protective eyewear during sports and other recreational activities. A good reminder now that the summer months are here. Also, when you are taking care of chores around the house or if you have a job that could pose a risk to your eyes, safety glasses can prevent injury. Know your family eye health history–Do some research and check in with your family members (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles). Knowing if your family has vision problems or diseases will help determine if you are at high risk. Wear sunglasses–When you purchase sunglasses, pick a pair that blocks out 99-100% of UVA/UVB rays. The sun can have negative effects on your eyes. For example, extended UV exposure can cause cataracts. Live a healthy lifestyle–Your overall health affects the health of your eyes. More specifically, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes, which can lead to diabetic eye disease and vision loss. Other recommendations–consume healthy foods, refrain from smoking, and manage any chronic health conditions. All of these can be linked to your vision health. Now, participate even more with Healthy Vision Month–share this information with your family and friends. We’re happy you’re not taking your eyesight for granted.

How to Properly (or Improperly) Clean Your Eyeglasses

by MikeMeehan 5/16/2017 9:11 AM

Lately, you started wearing glasses a bit more often or maybe all the time. You found a fantastic pair of frames, and road signs are clear again! Whether you are new to the joys of wearing glasses or a seasoned wearer, you’re probably well aware of the frequent bother of keeping your vision clear of specks and smudges on your lenses. And maybe you often breathe on your glasses and grab the bottom of your shirt to wipe them clean. Turns out, that’s a bad idea! Read on for the proper (and improper) ways to clean your eyeglasses. Don’t spit or exhale! I’ve seen lots of people do it, but you can’t assume these tactics are free of bacteria or particles. You can use eyeglass cleaner spray, but if you don’t have that available, use lukewarm tap water. You can also use a tiny amount of safe dishwashing soap.  Do your best to not wipe your lenses when they are dry. Water might not always be accessible, but debris already on the surface of your lenses can cause scratches when you clean them. Pre-moistened lens wipes are also an option. Resist using your shirt, despite the convenience. There are microfiber cloths specifically made for cleaning lenses. Using a tissue, paper towel or other material could scratch the surface. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth for eyewear, be sure to use a clean, soft cotton cloth. Make a visit to your eye care provider. They may be able to give some recommendations or provide a more thorough cleaning. Start the habit of cleaning your glasses every day. Since they are an investment, and you love your new frames, keep them as long as you can. These tips will help their longevity. Look for other tips caring for your eyeglasses in upcoming blogs.

4 Things Moms-To-Be Should Know About Dental Care During Pregnancy

by MikeMeehan 5/9/2017 9:54 AM

Since our thoughts are with our moms this weekend, we’ll turn our discussion to oral health for mothers. Oral health and preventive dental work for pregnant women is important to avoid gum disease and oral infections. The American Pregnancy Association stated preventive dental cleaning and annual exams during pregnancy are recommended and safe.  Let’s focus on a few of the most common topics pertaining to oral health during pregnancy.  In a recent article by the Delta Dental Plans Association, they answered questions about dental care during pregnancy concerning X-rays, anesthesia, differences in oral health, and dental benefits. Here’s what they reported: X-rays If necessary, X-rays are safest during the second trimester. The Mayo Clinic stated it is “highly unlikely that a diagnostic X-ray would harm a developing baby.” Though the dentist and dental hygienist will usually ask, let them know you are pregnant. Anesthesia It is safe to have dental treatment that requires local anesthesia according to a 2015 study by the American Dental Association. This is significant because sometimes pregnant women will postpone dental procedures even though they are in pain or the issue is affecting their health. Oral health Sensitive gums can affect pregnant women due to hormone levels. Some women develop pregnancy gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues caused by an increased level of hormones. Look for redness, swelling, tenderness and bleeding, and brush twice daily and floss daily, while keeping close attention to your gums. Dental benefits Check your benefits plan. Some plans included additional benefits for pregnant women such as extra cleanings to help prevent pregnancy gingivitis. For additional information, in Delta Dental’s Oral Health Library, you will find articles about the safety of dental care during pregnancy, oral health during pregnancy and infant oral health. We also cover the topic in our blogs, and provide information on dental care for babies. Always share your questions and concerns with your dentist.


©Delta Dental of Missouri 2012