Eye Care Make Your Eyes Look Beautiful

How do you preserve your vision?

Your eyesight is one of the most important things you need to protect and maintain in order to sustain your quality of life. It is common that as you age, eye problems and vision loss become apparent because of one reason or another.

In most cases, some life-threatening eye problem affects 1 in every 6 adults aged 50 and above. In fact, a recent report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimated that over 43 million Americans will develop age-related eye diseases by the year 2020.

However, because the leading causes of low vision and blindness in the U.S. are primarily age-related diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, preserving your vision with the following vital tips will keep you on the safe side.

The first step to preserving your eyesight as you age is finding out whether you are at a higher risk of contracting some eye disease. A visit to a professional ophthalmologist for regular eye check-ups will help diagnose any risks you are pre-disposed to, and with the right precautionary treatment, help limit your vision loss and preserve your eyesight.

Be aware of any warning signs of changes in your vision If you start noticing some weird changes in your vision such as hazy vision, double vision, and difficulty seeing in low light conditions, immediately consult your eye doctor. If you also experience some potentially serious eye problems such as red eyes, floaters, eye pains, swelling, and frequent flashes of light, see your ophthalmologist immediately.

Wear sunglasses to avoid harmful UV rays Too much exposure of your eyes to UV rays increases your chances of contracting cataracts and macular degeneration. But with the right pair of sunglasses, you can protect your eyes against the harmful rays and help preserve your vision as you age. If you wear contact lenses, you can get those that offer UV protection. And even so, it’s still wise to wear sunglasses for an extra layer of protection.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet Studies have shown that healthy balanced diets play an important role in preserving your eyesight over time. Eating fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids reduces your risk of contracting macular degeneration. A diet rich in antioxidants such as fruits and dark green vegetables helps reduce the risk of cataracts.  Other nutrients like zinc, lutein, and vitamins C and E also help greatly in avoiding the two diseases. Eating healthy also lowers the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes; the leading cause of blindness in adults.

Quit smoking now There are very many dangers of smoking. And when it comes to eye health, it’s no different. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing age-related cataracts, macular degeneration, damage to your optic nerve, uveitis and other eye problems. All in all, remember that your eye is a delicate body part! Only have professionals like Southwestern Eye Center examine and treat them to avoid injuries or poor treatment.

Ways to protect your eyesight

Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid vision loss from these age-related eye diseases and other problems:

Find out if you are at higher risk for eye diseases.

Be aware of your family’s health history. Do you or any of your family suffer from diabetes or have a history of high blood pressure? Are you over age 60? Any of these traits increase your risk for sight-threatening eye diseases.

Have regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure.

If left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems. In particular, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and eye strokes.

Look for warning signs of changes in your vision.

If you start noticing changes in your vision, see your eye doctor immediately. Some trouble signs to look for are double vision, hazy vision and difficulty seeing in low light conditions.

Other signs and symptoms of potentially serious eye problems that warrant immediate attention include red eyes, frequent flashes of light, floaters, and eye pain and swelling.

Exercise frequently.

Studies suggest that regular exercise — such as brisk walking — can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.

Protect your eyes from harmful UV light.

When outdoors during daytime, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts, pinguecula and other eye problems.

Have an annual eye exam.

A comprehensive eye exam, including dilating your pupils, can determine your risk for major eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, which has no early warning signs or symptoms.An eye exam also can ensure that your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses is up to date and that you are seeing as clearly and safely as possible.

Don’t smoke.

The many dangers of smoking have been well documented. When it comes to eye health, people who smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, uveitis and other eye problems.

Dry eyes

Our eyes produce tears to protect the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eyeball. But a lifetime of inflammation caused by sun, wind, high blood pressure, stress and other factors, may cause the eye to produce fewer tears. People in their 50s typically begin noticing burning, stinging or even eyes that brim with tears.

Dry eyes are easily treated with over-the-counter artificial tears or with nighttime application of gels.

Eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut, or taking flax or chia seeds, may help prevent the condition from developing.

Glaucoma

There are different forms of glaucoma, a largely hereditary condition that can cause irreversible blindness by damaging the eye’s optic nerve. It is usually caused by a buildup of fluid at the front of the eyeball.

Glaucoma is known as the “silent disease” because symptoms don’t appear until very late in the disease process. That’s why eye exams are recommended every two to three years after age 40.

Detected early enough, the majority of cases can be controlled with eye drops alone. Laser and surgery may also help.

Floaters

As people age, almost everyone experiences floaters — tiny white or black specks that move around in their field of vision. They occur when the jelly-like fluid behind the eye’s lens starts to break down, usually when people are in their late 50s and 60s.

Floaters are usually not a serious problem. However, a sudden shower of floaters accompanied by light flashes needs to be checked by an eye doctor right away.

Truths about protecting your eyes

Myth: Doing eye exercises will delay the need for glasses.

Fact: Eye exercises will not improve or preserve vision, help your eye health, or reduce the need for glasses. Your vision depends on many factors, including the shape of your eyeball and the health of the eye tissues, neither of which can be significantly altered with eye exercises.

Myth: Reading in dim light will worsen your vision.

Fact: Dim lighting will not damage your eyesight or eye health. However, it will tire your eyes out more quickly. The best way to position a reading light is to have it shine directly onto the page, not over your shoulder. A desk lamp with an opaque shade pointing directly at the reading material is ideal.

Myth: Carrots are the best food for the eyes.

Fact: Carrots, which contain vitamin A, are indeed good for the eyes. But fresh fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, which contain more antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, are even better for eye health. Antioxidants may even help protect the eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Just don’t expect them to prevent or correct basic vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

A Few Eye Care Tips

How to Choose the Best Sunglasses for Your Eye Health

Most people choose sunglasses based on how they look and how much they cost. But sunglasses are so much more than a fashion accessory. If selected correctly, sunglasses can provide much-needed protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

Why is eye protection important?

The sun projects harmful UV rays all year, not just in the summer and even when it’s cloudy. Anytime you go outside, your eyes are exposed to these harmful rays. Protecting your eyes with quality sunglasses is an important step toward optimal eye health

Left unprotected, your eyes can suffer significant damage from UV rays. UV absorption by your eyes can cause or contribute to a wide variety of eye conditions, including:

Cataracts: Cataracts develop on the lenses of your eyes and lead to blurred vision or even blindness.

Macular degeneration: UV rays damage your retina, resulting in loss of vision and increasing your risk of going blind.

Pterygium: Exposure to UV rays can cause the tissue that lines your eyelids to grow over the white part of your eyes, irritating your eyes and affecting your vision if it reaches the cornea.

Photokeratitis: Also called ultraviolet keratitis, this painful condition results when your eyes are sunburned and causes inflammation of your cornea, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and dry eye.

How do I choose the best sunglasses for eye health?

Not all sunglasses offer UV protection. Even those marketed as UV-blocking sunglasses may not provide the protection you need for optimal eye health

Here’s what to look for when shopping for sunglasses:

Style and fit: Sunglasses with large lenses are good because they protect more of your eye, but wraparound sunglasses block the most sunlight.

Lens tint: While the darkness of the lenses isn’t as important as the UV rating, dark or mirrored sunglasses make it easier to see in bright sunlight, helping you strain your eyes less.

UV rating: Pick a pair of sunglasses that protect against 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Note that not all store-bought glasses offer this kind of complete protection.

How to Choose the Best Sunglasses

Sunglasses may be perceived as a stylish fashion accessory, but in reality they are a key element in maintaining healthy eyes.

Doctors strongly recommend both children and adults wear sunglasses whilst outdoors, to block the sun’s destructive ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can cause a variety of eye ailments, including cataracts, macular degeneration and ev​en skin cancer around the eyelids.

Sunglasses do not need to be expensive to protect the eyes, though very low priced ones may not provide optimal optical clarity. What is important is the label that states the UV protective rating of the sunglasses

According to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a good way to test the optical quality of your sunglasses is to focus on a vertical edge or line and move your head back and forth, “allowing your eyes to sweep across the lens. If there is any wiggle in the line, then the lens may have an optical defect and you should choose another pair.”

Children need sunglasses too!

Children are just as vulnerable to UV rays as they spend more time in the sun than adults. For best UV coverage, they should wear well-fitting sunglasses made from polycarbonate. Children, like adults, should also wear a wide brimmed hat with the sunglasses for added protection when they are spending long hours outdoors. Clothing with UV blocking coating is recommended for additional protection

The Importance of Wearing Sunglasses and How to Choose the Best Ones for You

While it’s no secret that style, fit, and cost are primary considerations for most people when buying sunglasses, they’re much more than just as classic fashion accessory. Of course you want your sunglasses to look good, but you also want them to function properly. Besides helping you see better on bright days, they should also protect your eyes (and the surrounding area) from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

HOW WEARING SUNGLASSES PROTECTS YOUR EYES

Most people wear sunglasses so they can see more easily when driving or spending time outside on a bright day. While pretty much any pair of sunglasses, including those that don’t offer protection from harmful UV radiation, can help shade your vision, it takes a specific kind of darkened lens to protect your eyes and help preserve your long-term vision.

CATARACTS

Cataracts can make your vision cloudy or blurry, and they may even make colors appear less vibrant. They’re largely considered an age-related problem, because by age 80, most Americans have a cataract or have already undergone surgery to remove one. But did you know that approximately 20% of all cataract cases are caused by extended exposure to UV light?

MACULAR DEGENERATION

Macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, damages the macula lutea, a small spot near the center of your retina required for sharp central vision. Because this part of the retina contains millions of light-sensing cells, eye experts believe it’s likely that routine exposure to UV rays contributes to the development and progression of the disease.

SKIN CANCER

You may be careful to put on sunscreen when you head outside for prolonged periods of time, but chances are you don’t slather it on your eyelids. Because up to 10% of all skin cancers occur on the eyelid, it’s important to wear sunglasses that offer complete UV protection to help mitigate your skin cancer risk in this sensitive area.

How To Choose Sunglasses

Sunglasses make up a $4 million dollar industry in the United States alone, which means we can assume that people are buying sunglasses all the time. But picking out your next pair of sunglasses can sometimes feel like a burden.

Between all the options, knowing what looks best on you can be hard. Plus, you want to make sure the frames not only look great but also improve your life. If you’re in this situation, look no further. In this article, we’re breaking down everything you need to know how to choose sunglasses. Soon, you’ll be an expert on choosing sunglasses.

How To Choose Sunglasses: Face Shape Comes First

Before you begin choosing sunglasses, you need to figure out what kind of face shape you have. While this might sound a bit trivial, it will help you narrow down what looks best to you.

Why Do You Want Sunglasses?

Next, you want to ask yourself why you want sunglasses. Do you want them for sports or some other hobby?

If so, you’ll want to check out sporting frames that give you better vision. For instance, fishers can have an easier time spotting fish with frames custom-built for that very reason, and hikers can see better views with frames that give more color to the world around them

Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Most of us are well aware of the five senses bestowed to us through which we interact with our environment, i.e. vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch, right? But how many of you have ever really wondered which of these is considered as the most valuable.

Sure, each of these senses is invaluable in its own right, but vision is considered to be the most important of all, as it is used to perceive about 80% of all impressions.

So, now you’re getting a better idea of why you should tend to your eye health much more seriously, and if not, it’s going to hurt your pocket as well. Wait a minute, did I just say ‘your pocket’? Let me get it right, it hurts ‘our’ pockets!

In fact, neglecting eye care not only affects you financially, it also affects your quality of life. One in six American adults (aged 45 and above) suffer from one or the other type of eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. According to estimates by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), by 2020, 43 million plus Americans will be affected by age-related eye diseases.

Healthy Diet Healthy Eyesight

Yes, it starts as simple as that; you are what you eat and so is your eyesight. Foods rich in nutrients like vitamin C and E, zinc, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids strengthen your eyes against age-related eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Simple Tips To Find The Best Dermatologist

Tips for Choosing a Dermatologist

A Personal Decision

Almost anyone can benefit from seeing a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help teens and adults control acne, improve the appearance of their skin, and prevent skin cancer. Choosing a dermatologist is an important and personal decision, especially if you have a skin condition. How do you find the best dermatologist who is right for you? Here are some important factors to keep in mind.

Get Referrals

Start with a referral list of dermatologists from your primary care doctor. Also ask family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. Take the time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience on Healthgrades.com. With a list of a few names, call each dermatologist’s office to see if he or she is accepting new patients. Ask the receptionist for a consult appointment to meet and interview the dermatologist.

Research the Dermatologist’s Credentials

Board certification is one of the most important factors to consider when you are finding a dermatologist. It tells you that the doctor has the necessary training, skills and experience to provide healthcare in dermatology. Also confirm that the dermatologist has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can find the dermatologist’s medical school, training hospital, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history on Healthgrades.com and state websites.

Consider the Dermatologist’s Experience

Experience matters when you’re facing issues with the appearance or health of your skin, hair or nails. The more experience a dermatologist has with a condition or procedure, the better your results are likely to be. Fellowship training in a subspecialty like skin cancer surgery or hair and nail disorders is extremely valuable. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the dermatologist has treated. If you know you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication rates—complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.

Consider Gender

It’s important to feel comfortable with your dermatologist’s gender because you will need to openly discuss personal information. When it comes to dermatology, your own gender is also an important consideration. Dermatologists are becoming more skilled in caring for women and men differently. Ask the dermatologist about his or her recent training and experience specifically related to your condition and your gender.

HOW TO SELECT A DERMATOLOGIST

Before making an appointment with a dermatologist, it is important to consider their level of training. Board-certified dermatologists have at least eight years of medical training, if not more. They have proven their expertise by passing difficult board exams and meeting other requirements.

Board-certified: It is important to check whether your dermatologist is board-certified. If they are, the initials FAAD will appear after their name. FAAD stands for “Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.” A dermatologist’s website is often a good place to check. It will either list FAAD after their name or discuss their board certification.

Insurance: If you are uncertain about insurance coverage, call your insurance provider. They are the best source for learning whether a dermatologist is in your network and if the visit is covered. They can also tell you whether treatment for a particular condition is covered. Note that strictly cosmetic procedures — such as treatment for wrinkles — usually are not covered.

Booking the appointment: As is true for many specialists, there can be a wait to see a dermatologist. To help you get timely care, dermatologists offer the follow tips.

Make your appointment early. The earlier you can book your appointment, the better. If you are scheduling a routine appointment, call several weeks or even months ahead of when you wish to be seen.

Explain your concerns. If you are worried about a particular condition or have pain, briefly explain this to the receptionist. For example, if you have a mole that is itching, bleeding, or changing (signs of possible skin cancer), be sure to mention that. Dermatologists will try to work in patients with urgent issues as soon as possible. You may be able to speak directly with the dermatologist or his or her nurse to explain your worries. Dermatologists work tirelessly to keep their patients healthy and happy. They will know whether your condition needs urgent care.

How to Choose a Dermatologist

There are two kinds of skin doctors: general and cosmetic, and choosing the right derm is crucial to addressing your concerns

Know the types. A general dermatologist will treat rashes, acne, and rosacea; they do skin exams to check for questionable moles; and they can help with issues such as thinning hair. They are a good starting place for anti-aging prescriptions such as Retin-A or hydroquinone for wrinkles and brown spots. Deeply etched wrinkles, scars, or persistent discoloration—anything that requires a peel, injection, or laser—are best treated by a cosmetic dermatologist.

Check their bios. Doctors usually have one on their practice’s website. Look for board certification from the American Academy of Dermatology—you don’t want to get Botox from someone certified as an OB-GYN. A website is also a good place to see whether the doctor’s focus is general or cosmetic and if she specializes further. Someone who names laser treatments, or Botox and fillers, will be more experienced than a doctor who insists she does them all equally well.

Go for a consult. Schedule your first appointment for a Monday or Tuesday. These are usually the busiest days. Take advantage of the full waiting room and ask your fellow patients about their experiences. It’s a good sign if you have to wait several weeks for a consultation; the doctor is in demand. Most doctors charge for a consultation, but often that fee is put toward the cost of a procedure.

Listen up. When you meet a cosmetic dermatologist for the first time, I think it’s best to give a vague sense of why you’re there and then let her talk. Mention that you’re bothered by the lines on your face or noticeable leg veins, but don’t go into all the remedies you’ve researched online. Listen to how she’d address those issues. Her opinion will give you a sense of her aesthetic philosophy, including how aggressive she is.

Signs of a Great Dermatologist

Whether you want to get rid of adult acne or you’re curious about the latest in anti-aging technology, choosing a dermatologist can sometimes be as daunting as the skin problems that plague you. Simplify the search by paying attention to these five guidelines when shopping around.

The best credentials. Report cards matter. Any doctor with a medical degree can start a dermatology practice, but certified physicians boast additional years of supervised study and have passed rigorous exams. Do a free online search to ensure that a prospective dermatologist is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, which is the gold standard for the industry, says Wendy Lewis, the author of America’s Cosmetic Doctors and a cosmetic surgery consultant. She warns, “Many doctors call themselves dermatologists but may be internists, general practitioners, or something else.”

Unrushed appointments. Exceptional dermatologists don’t look at the clock; they look at your chart and are completely focused on your personal story and your questions. “Your dermatologist should take the time to explain things, address your concerns, and explain treatment plans, as well as any tests you may have to undergo,”. If a dermatologist dismisses your thoughts, is difficult to follow up with, or rushes you through an appointment, it’s time to find someone who values you more as a patient.

No sales pitching. It’s a doctor’s office — not a home shopping television show. The dermatologist and the office staff should never aggressively push products, treatments, or other remedies that don’t specifically address your personal concerns. “If you feel that a dermatologist is selling you, he or she may be more interested in your money than in helping you,” says Dr. Bank.

A generous sampling policy. An office chock-full of mini tubes of various products shows that a dermatologist genuinely wants patients to find the best — and not just any — solution to a given skin problem, and that he or she is conscious of budgets and prescription copay amounts. “If your dermatologist wants you to try a product to make sure it’s right for you before you commit to buying a prescription, it’s a great sign,” says Bank. And don’t be shy; speak up and ask if samples are available, as doctors often have to trash loads of expired samples.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DERMATOLOGIST

Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases and conditions related to the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes (the lining inside the eyelids, nose, and mouth).  A dermatologist is specially qualified to treat a variety of conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, rosacea, skin cancer, wrinkles, age spots, and hair loss. People of all ages, from newborns to those over 100 years of age, can often benefit from regularly seeing a skilled dermatologist.

BOARD CERTIFIED

Choose a dermatologist that is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. While technically any doctor with a medical degree can start a skin care practice

CONSIDER THE NEED FOR SPECIALIZATION

Some board certified dermatologists complete additional education and training in order to specialize in areas like Mohs surgery, dermatopathology, or pediatric dermatology. Such additional fellowship training can be extremely valuable when it comes to properly treating certain conditions. Patients who know they need a specific procedure should concentrate their search on dermatologists with additional fellowship training. Ask any candidate about their history performing the procedure including complications.

BEDSIDE MANNER

All patients deserve a dermatologist that they feel comfortable with. This means finding a dermatologist with a communication style and personality that works with yours. When reading reviews or soliciting referrals form friends ask if visits feel rushed. A good dermatologist will take the time to fully address your concerns and explain all the treatment options.

AFTER HOURS CARE

It’s important for patients to always be able to reach out to their dermatologist after office hours, during evening and on weekends. Many dermatologists will offer on-call or answering services to handle any emergencies like allergic reactions. You should never feel left in the dark on the weekend or after hours on weekdays.