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Allergies and your eyes

Allergies and your eyes

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Allergies and Your Eyes

Autumn often brings to mind pleasant thoughts of football games, crisp air, and leaves changing color.  But for those with allergies, it can also be a time of distress.  Millions of people suffer from the sniffling, sneezing, and nasal congestion that accompany allergies. Weed pollen is the biggest allergy trigger for most fall allergies. Pollen can travel hundred of miles through the wind, so no matter where you live, it is difficult to escape its misery.

A common side effect of allergies is irritated eyes. Ocular allergies occur when airborne allergens and other particles interact with the surface of the eye and cause the body to overreact.  Soft contact lens wearers are especially susceptible as contact lenses can serve as collectors of these particles.

Common symptoms of eye allergies include:

  • Itching

  • Redness

  • Watery eyes

  • Swelling or puffiness of the eyelids

While most eye allergies are annoying and uncomfortable, they rarely harm your eyesight.  If you suffer from any of these symptoms, the good news is that relief from these may be reached with a quick visit to an optometrist. Effective treatments are available and our optometrists are ready and waiting to help.  Take control of your allergies and schedule an appointment today.

Relaxation for your eyes!

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Relaxation for your eyes!

We all look forward to resting our minds and bodies. Heaven knows we all needed it. We wake up every morning, get dressed and head off to work for the day. After a long day’s work, we find our way home, have dinner and, if we’re lucky, we get the kids ready for bed and have a few minutes to relax until we fall asleep ourselves.

Much of the time, our relaxation consists of watching TV, reading a book or searching the web on our tablet or personal computer. Five days a week, or more, we go through this process. We deem it necessary to give ourselves Labor Day to all rest at once; but what about our eyes? When do our eyes get to rest? There is no Labor Day for our eyes. So here are a few tips to slip into your daily routine that will help you give your eyes the rest they deserve.

Blink
When we get busy with work, sometimes we forget to blink. Many of us tend to blink even less than normal when working on a computer. Dry eyes can be a result of prolonged computer use. Make a conscious effort to blink more often as blinking manufactures tears that dampen and refresh your eyes.

Close Your Eyes
Use relaxation exercises ease muscle tension in your eyes. Place your elbows, palms facing up, on your desk or kitchen table. Relax with your weight forward letting your head fall into your hands. Make sure your head is positioned with your hands covering your eyes with your forehead resting in your fingers. With your eyes covered, take a deep breath through your nose. Hold it for four to five seconds and exhale. Repeat this deep breathing for 15 to 30 seconds. Try to take time to close your eyes in this manner several times a day.

Improve Air Quality
Using a humidifier, lowering the thermostat and avoiding smoke are all ways to prevent the eyes from drying out, allowing the eyes to remain moist. Moisture replenishes the eyes and reduces the occurrence of fatigue.

Use Appropriate Eyewear
Lenses are generally fitted for reading print. It may be helpful for wearers of eyeglasses or contacts to make sure that their correction is right for computer work as well. Glasses or contact lenses designed specifically for computer work may be a worthwhile investment and go a long way toward making sure your eyes get the proper rest and support.

These few, simple recommendations can help you give your eyes the rest that they deserve.

Kids in a digital world

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Preparing kids for a digital world

Today’s teachers make full use of computers, interactive whiteboards, digital devices, and even 3D technology to enhance the learning environment. Forty percent of teachers use computers for instruction, and at least one computer is in 97% of all American classrooms. That adds up to a lot of screen time for kids who also watch TV or play on the computer at home.

Today’s kids spend far more time doing “near work,” such as texting, looking stuff up on cell phones, and playing computer games. In fact, children age 8 to 18 spend more than seven hours each day with electronics and 75% of American children under age 8 have access to a smartphone or tablet. Most vision experts say parents should apply commonsense rules to how much time their children spend on electronic devices and follow the tips above. While While the benefits of digital technology are many for humans, there is increasing evidence that digital eyestrain  or eye fatigue are now common problems and are especially a problem for kids.

Why do problems occur?

  •  Research shows that people hold digital devices closer to their eyes than they hold books and newspapers. That forces their eyes to work harder.
  • Digital devices may also be linked to eye fatigue because of a tendency to blink less often when staring at a computer screen. Studies suggest that people only blink about half as often while using a computer or other digital device.
  • Computer vision syndrome occurs when you’re carrying out the same motion over and over again and can get worse the longer you continue the activity. Working at a computer requires that eyes continuously focus, move back and forth, align with what you are seeing and look down at papers and then back up to type. These functions require a lot of effort from eye muscles. The computer screen also adds the elements of screen contrast, flicker, and glare.

Common digital eyestrain symptoms

  • Head, neck or back pain
  • Eye pain/tiredness
  • Redness, watering, dryness
  • Burning or itching
  • Double vision
  • Loss of focus

The good news is there are numerous things you can recommend to the kids (and for yourself) do to help avoid the condition, including:

Make changes to computer screens at home, such as:

–Place the screen 20-26 inches away from eyes and a little below eye level.Regularly clean off smudges, dust and fingerprints from the screen.

— Choose screens that tilt and swivel.

–Consider using a glare filter over screen.

–Keep monitors bright and increase light in the room.

  • Help kids practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.
  • Use artificial tears to hydrate the corneas. Help children put them in before bed, upon waking up and in the afternoon.
  • Switch between contacts and glasses with anti-glare lenses.

Flex Benefits: Use It or Lose It!

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Flex Benefits: Use’em If You Got’em!

You may be asking, “What are Flex Benefits or what is a Flexible Spending Account?” A Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, is a savings plan offered by many employers in which you to set aside funds from your paycheck each week. That money is saved in an account held by your employer. These funds are available for you to use for medical expenses

There are two options for redemption when using the money saved in your FSA.

Option 1 – You receive a debit card that links directly to your FSA account for use when paying medical expenses.

Option 2 – Apply to be reimbursed from you FSA for the medical expenses you have incurred.

What may be the most important fact about Flexible Spending Accounts is, depending on the rules set by your employer, the benefits expire. This means that if you fail to use the money in your FSA by December 31, you lose it all. A lot of money  is forfeited every year. Don’t let this happen to you.

Yes. You can use your Flexible Spending Account to stop putting off that comprehensive eye exam that you need. You can also use that money to get new eyeglasses, a pair of prescription or non prescription sunglasses, or purchase an annual supply of contact lenses.

Schedule an appointment with Wink Eye Doctors today.  Don’t procrastinate. Remember,  in most cases, if you don’t use the money in your FSA before December 31, you’ll lose that money forever. And who has money to just throw away nowadays.