At Work? Think About Your Eyes

by MikeMeehan 3/28/2018 2:34 PM

Eye injuries at work are very common, according to the American Optometric Association. But most of these injuries can be prevented with the proper eye protection and with raised awareness. Depending on your occupation, there are workplace eye safety precautions to take. Eye injuries at the workplace happen for two main reasons – you were not wearing any eye protection or you were wearing the wrong type of eye protection for the job at hand. Consider these potential hazards at your workplace: Projectiles or particles like bits of wood and metal that could fall or fly into your eye Chemicals that could splash into your eyes or create fumes Radiation exposure like UV, infrared and lasers Oil or grease that could splash into your eyes Bloodborne pathogens Then take these steps to prevent an eye injury: Assess your workplace and look for possible eye safety hazards If possible, remove or reduce the eye hazard Wear appropriate eye safety gear like safety glasses, goggles and face shields Regularly inspect your eye safety gear to be sure it’s still effective and not damaged Blue light at work Another eye hazard at work is blue light from your computer screen. If you have prolonged exposure to digital devices, you could be susceptible to Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome. If you spend more than two hours a day in front of the computer, you have a 90% chance of developing this vision problem. To prevent digital eye strain at work, use the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away. For Workplace Eye Wellness Month, Prevent Blindness America reminds all employees to have regular comprehensive eye exams to be sure they have sufficient vision in order to do their jobs safely.

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.

Sugar and Your Eyes

by MikeMeehan 1/22/2018 3:46 PM

Last week we talked about how sugar affects your teeth, which is probably commonly considered. Candy, soda and other sweets often trigger fears of cavities. But what’s less likely to be considered is how sugar can be harmful to your eyes.  How are they connected? One way sugar and our eyes are connected is through blood sugar levels. Since we have blood vessels in our eyes, the amount of sugar we consume that goes into our blood can affect our vision. As explained on AllAboutVision.com, “Fluctuating blood sugars are known to cause fluctuating vision.”  There is a connection between blood sugar levels and the lens in your eye being able to maintain focus. According to BostonSight, “sugar consumption is linked to a number of serious eye health conditions.” One example provided was from a study that found limiting sugar can reduce the risk or the advancement of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD can cause you to lose your vision. As discussed in an article on WebMD, it’s better to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index and that won’t make your blood sugar levels spike quickly. Cataracts are another eye condition that research has linked to sugar intake. High amounts of sugar in your blood can cause the lens in your eyes to swell. According to the American Optometric Association, this may increase your risk of developing cataracts. Excessive pressure in your eye can lead to glaucoma, another serious eye disease. High blood sugar can cause the blood vessels in your eyes to create a buildup of fluid. This fluid can create that excessive pressure. Diabetes and eye disease If you have diabetes, there are other diseases you’re at risk of developing - diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. Talking with your eye doctor to learn more and going for a comprehensive eye exam regularly can detect some of these conditions early.  Though it may seem common knowledge to watch your sugar intake because of the negative effects it can have on your health, it’s important to consider all the ways it can impact your health – including your eyes and vision.

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