5 steps to healthy vision

by MikeMeehan 5/30/2018 9:27 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. 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.  

Protect your eyes during allergy season

by MikeMeehan 4/26/2018 1:11 PM

Allergy season can bring about some uncomfortable symptoms, especially for your eyes. As your vision benefits provider, we want to make sure you protect your eyes this season. Here are 6 tips to get you started: Avoid exposureTry to minimize your exposure to allergens by keeping windows closed and wearing sunglasses with as much coverage as possible. Whether at home or in your car, air conditioning and filtering the air can provide some relief. Use eye dropsThere are many brands, so consult your eye doctor for a recommendation. Allergy eye drops will reduce the histamine in your eye tissues, so this might be a good option to directly help your swollen, watery, red and itchy eyes. You can try over-the-counter for your mild symptoms, but if you don’t see improvement, see your eye doctor for prescription eye drops. Remove contact lensesDuring allergy season, wearing your eyeglasses instead of your contact lenses may help with eye allergies. The surface of your contact lenses can collect allergens. Treat with medicationsIf over-the-counter eye drops aren’t enough, oral medications can relieve your eye allergy symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants, and other options can be prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter. Don’t itch!Although it might provide temporary relief, rubbing your eyes can lead to thinning of the cornea and a risk of eye infections. Also, when you rub your allergy eyes, the itching releases more histamines, worsening the symptoms. When the itching becomes unbearable, grab the eye drops instead.  Try other remediesImmunotherapy, steroids and mast cell stabilizers are examples of other treatments you can discuss with your doctor. At home remedies, like a cold washcloth or compress, cucumber slices or tea bags placed on your eyelids can be soothing. Changing your clothes when you get home and showering before bedtime are some other strategies.  

Smile Snacks for Your Football or Oscar Party

by MikeMeehan 1/31/2018 11:07 AM

Whether you’re hosting an awards show party or throwing a game-day bash, you can help your friends take care of their smiles as well as their taste buds. Reconsider the trend Rosé, champagne and prosecco may be a trendy choice and a fun idea for an award show party or to celebrate your favorite team winning the big game, but these drinks can be hard on tooth enamel. Prosecco, champagne, and rosè have high acid levels, so opt for sparkling water or even a dry martini instead. Cheese – both appetizing and helpful A fancy cheese tray – or even just slices of good ol’ cheddar – is an easy choice. It can also protect your teeth if you do decide to indulge in champagne and the other celebratory drinks described above. Cheese is always a crowd pleaser, and you can dress it up with a charcuterie board including prosciutto, salami and chorizo. Throw in some healthy garnishes, such as almonds and pickles, and you’ve got a spread that’s sure to impress. But skip the crackers and crostini. Foods that are high in carbohydrates break down into sugars that can harm your enamel just like the sugars in cookies and candies. A veggie tray will save the day Instead of opening a bag of chips, which are also high in carbohydrates and starches, put a veggie tray on the menu. Vegetables will provide the same satisfying crunch your guests crave while keeping their smiles healthy. If you’re looking for something different than the usual celery, carrots and broccoli, try parsnips, jicama, snap peas, artichokes and asparagus. Berries for sweetness For a little something sweet, opt for berries drizzled with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has lower sugar content than milk chocolate and white chocolate, so it’s a good choice for dessert.

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