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Protect Your Eyes When Playing Sports

Nearly 40,000 sports-related eye injuries — mostly from contact sports and blunt trauma — occur each year in the United States, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. And children account for one-third of those injuries.

Wearing protective eyewear is the easiest way to prevent 90% of sports-related eye injuries. If you or a family member are an athlete, keep a pair of goggles in your home or car so you’re always prepared.

Protective eye gear is particularly important for sports that involve a fast-moving ball such as tennis, racquetball, soccer, softball or baseball (particularly infielders).

The most common eye injuries in sports are abrasions and contusions, detached retinas, corneal lacerations, cataracts, hemorrhages and loss of an eye.

So don’t take chances — wear protective gear to maintain your eye health and precious sight.

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New Year, New Eyes: Make a Resolution to Keep Eyes Healthy in the New Year

It has been two full weeks since the start of the year, and many people have already given up on their resolutions — in fact, this past Saturday was “National Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day.” Many people center their New Year’s resolutions around eating healthier and losing weight, giving up easily when they don’t see immediate results.

This year, we suggest making a simple resolution to keep your eyes healthy. Here are a few steps you can take to help get you there, which may also help with your other resolutions:

  • Eat more eye-healthy foods. We all know by now how great carrots are for your eyesight, but do you know why? Carrots and other orange fruits and vegetables contain Beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps your eyes function smoothly. Another suggestion — add leafy greens like kale and spinach to your diet. These are rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to lower the risk of developing cataracts and other eye problems.
  • Schedule routine eye exams. You should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam on a regular basis to check for common eye issues, such as myopia, hyperopia, glaucoma, cataracts and astigmatism. Several factors determine how frequently you need an exam, so check with your eye doctor to see what’s right for you.
  • Protect your eyes.Whether you’re playing sports, doing yard work, or lounging at the beach, it is very important to protect your eyes. If you’re outside, wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB radiation. When doing home repairs, use protective lenses to prevent serious accidents.

Taking care of your eyes can be an integral part of your overall health plan — people who report having vision problems are more likely to have hearing and heart issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious health issues.

This is one New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep! Set up an appointment with an eye doctor or Cataract Surgeon at Gainesville Eye Associates.

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Protect Your Eyes While Participating in Water Sports

It’s that time of year when we’re all spending a lot of time in the pool, lake or ocean. It’s important to protect your eyes when participating in water sports and other activities because an eye infection can ruin your summer fun.

Pool water can have a harsh effect on your eyes, so the best precaution you can take is to wear goggles. Swim goggles are not just for competitive swimmers. It’s good practice to wear them anytime you are in the pool, lake or ocean.

The chlorine in pool water can tear the film from your eyeball that protects your eyes from germs and that can lead to infections. Contrary to what many believe, chemically treated pools don’t kill all the germs.

In addition, chlorine interacts with organic compounds that come off your body and forms chloramines, which act as irritants. You know that pool smell? Those are chloramines! And they can cause stinging, red eyes, dry eye, and blurry vision.

In lakes and oceans, your eyes are also exposed to microbes. Most often, they cause conjunctivitis in the eyes, but they can also lead to more serious issues.

If you’re a contact lens wearer, take them out before participating in water activities. Microbes will attach to your contact lenses more easily than your eye, and then become trapped under the lenses.  You also run the risk of getting sand under contact lenses if you are playing on beach or surfing some big waves.

Of course, there are also prescription watersport sunglasses that you can wear on the water while you are fishing, surfing or boating to give some protection. But be sure these meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) UV requirements.

Keep your eyes safe and enjoy your summer!

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People with Light-Colored Eyes More Susceptible to UV Rays

People with light-colored eyes have much less melanin, which is a pigment that helps protect your eyes from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. That makes it extremely important for them to protect their eyes with sunglasses.

 Extra protection can come from wraparound sunglasses or sunglasses with side pieces big enough to block the sun from most angles. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat also can help, because it will shield your face from the sun.

 Wear sunglasses even on cloudy days. Water, sand, and pavement reflect UV rays, increasing the amount reaching your eyes.

 Exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays can cause both temporary and permanent problems, such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, skin cancer near your eyes and Photokeratitis, which is sunburn of the cornea. Exposure UV rays overtime leads to substantial risk of eye damage.

 The No. 1 safeguard for people with light-colored eyes is sunglasses that absorb UVA and UVB rays. We recommend that all individuals — especially those with light-colored eyes – wear 100 percent UV-safe sunglasses.

 You need sunglasses that have UV absorption up to 400 nanometers and meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) UV requirements. That means the lenses have been treated with the protective coating and block at least 99 percent of UV rays from reaching your eyes. It should say one or the other on the sunglasses. Dark lenses do not mean more protection. You have to look for the rating.

Halloween costumes

Halloween Eyewear

It’s almost Halloween, so we just thought we’d share a few of our eye doctor’s favorite Halloween costumes (that include glasses of course)!