Protecting Your Childs Eyes During Spring Sports

Anytime a person especially children take part in a Spring or Summer sport such as baseball it presents a risk of injury to their eyes. A fast moving baseball can injure the bones around the eye or even the eyeball itself causing temporary or even permanent vision problems. Other players hands or gloves can scratch the eye and cause damage to the eye’s surface. Even a misguided bat can cause head injuries and lead to vision problems. The long term emotional cost is immeasurable when weighed against a relatively inexpensive piece of protective eyewear.

Protective eyewear like sports goggles can be either prescription or nonprescription and made of non breakable materials. Helmets and headgear can also play an important role in protecting head injuries that could lead to vision problems. If an eye injury occurs while taking part in a sport young people should be seen by their eye doctor or primary care physician as soon as the injury happens. If not properly treated vision problems can persist and lead to lifelong difficulties playing sports, driving a car or even maintaining certain jobs.

Eye doctors and Optometrists recommend taking young people who participate in sports have an eye exam if there is any indication of vision problems. Nearsightedness, farsightedness or an astigmatism if undetected can lead to a variety of physical injuries during sports including eye injuries.

Parents and coaches should watch for various signs on the field that may signal poor depth perception or other vision problems.

  • Always swinging the bat too fast or too slow
  • Missing often while trying to catch the ball
  • Squinting to see the ball or other players

Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children and the largest percentage are sports related the majority of which can be avoided by wearing protective eyewear. If your child requires prescription eyewear for sports or if you’re not certain scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor might be a good first step. Parents in Calgary trust Dr. Alex Wilson & Associates to provide a comprehensive eye exam for their children, to determine if there are any vision problems that need attention.

How To Clean Your Eyeglasses

Glasses are one of those personal items that are handled frequently which makes them subject to lots of wear and tear and need regular maintenance to have them performing optimally. Here are some basic tips for caring for your glasses properly.

1) Rinse lenses under a stream of room temperature water which will rinse away any large particles from the lense surface without scratching the lenses. Be sure the water is not too hot or too cold as this may damage the anti reflective coating.

2) Spray both inner and outer surfaces of each lens with eyeglass cleaner, one that is specifically approved for this purpose. Using a small amount of dishwashing liquid then rising will work fine as well. Finish by drying with a microfiber cloth, these cloths are made to remove dirt and grime from lens surfaces and are hand washable.

3) Do not use kleenex or other tissue on lens surfaces as these materials are quite abrasive and may scratch your lenses.

4) Protect your glasses by storing them in an eyeglass case in your purse or pocket or lying around at home will safeguard against scratching or possible breakage. If you find your glasses need a little adjusting or tightening the dispensing

Even if your glasses have anti glare and scratch resistant coating nothing can prevent lenses from becoming scratched and eventually they will need to be replaced. By this point this may be a reminder that you likely need to have your eyes examined by an Optometrist to be sure your prescription is still up to date. In Calgary, Dr. Alex Wilson & Associates provide comprehensive eye exams to be sure you maintain your eye health. Book an appointment today.

Are Your Eyes Safe Wearing Cheap Sunglasses?

Summer is pretty much here in Calgary. We hope you have read our post on how to protect your eyes from pollen. Today’s post will be on sunglasses and if buying and wearing cheap ones is safe.

We always seem to be misplacing our sunglasses so it’s very tempting to save money and go for the cheaper pair. After all, we wear them to diminish the sun’s glare. Don’t be fooled into believing that’s all they do, they have the more important purpose of blocking invisible ultraviolet light. While exposure to these rays can cause short term discomfort, it’s the consequences over time that can lead to cataracts and other eye problems. It’s not immediately apparent if your sunglasses are blocking the harmful UV light rays, and wearing dark glasses that don’t serve this purpose can be more harmful that having no protection at all.

Cheap Sunglasses Could Endanger Your Vision

Our eyes are capable of adjusting to different levels of light, in diminished lighting your pupil increases to allow more light to reach the retina. To avoid overexposure the pupil dilates when the eyes are subjected to brighter light conditions. Dark lenses fool your eye into thinking you’re in low light resulting in the expansion of your pupils. As a consequence wearing sunglasses that don’t block UV rays allow more harmful light in than if you weren’t even wearing sunglasses.

What to Watch For When Buying Sunglasses

When shopping for sunglasses a sticker on the lens will list the following features

  • Blocks 99 to 100 % of UVA/UVB rays
  • Meets ANZI Z80.3 quality standards
  • Provides UV 400 protection which is a different way of stating they block 100% of UVA/UVB rays

If these items are not listed don’t buy the sunglasses. Some less expensive pairs meet these standards and some costlier pairs will not. Don’t be swayed by price alone, be sure to read the sticker on the lens.

Protecting your eyes by wearing sunglasses can maintain the health of your eyes and guard against cataracts as well as prevent other eye problems including something as serious as cancer of the eye. Your eyes are too precious to neglect wearing a good pair of sunglasses that provide protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Contact our Calgary Optometrists if you have any other questions regarding sunglasses.

How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Eyes

Having high blood pressure alone typically will not impact a person’s vision, uncontrolled blood pressure over an extended period of time can have a negative affect your vision however. Overtime high blood pressure can cause damage to the retina’s blood vessels, limit the function of the retina and put pressure on the optic nerve causing vision problems. The resulting condition known as hypertensive retinopathy can be a risk factor in the progression of eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

Why High Blood Pressure Affects The Health Of Your Eyes

Blood vessels carry blood not only to your heart but also to the blood vessels of your eyes. Due to the large demand for oxygen the tiny blood vessels in the retina can easily be damaged by high blood pressure. During an eye exam your Optometrist checks for changes in the retina by directly viewing the blood vessels of the retina and a healthy retina is essential for good vision. High blood pressure if uncontrolled is also linked to choroidopathy which is a buildup of fluid under the retina. Optic neuropathy or nerve damage is a risk with high blood pressure, the nerve damage occurs when blood flow is blocked. The resulting nerve damage can kill nerve cells in your eyes and result in bleeding in the eye or vision loss.

What You Can Do

There are many things you can do to prevent hypertensive retinopathy and other serious eye conditions by taking an active part in maintaining the health of your eyes. Scheduling regular eye exams where your Optometrist will perform tests as part of the comprehensive examination to ensure the health of your eyes. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet that provides the proper nutrient rich foods, exercising regularly and taking blood pressure medications as prescribed will assure your vision remains healthy. Contact our offices to schedule a Calgary eye exam, we can answer any questions or concerns regarding your vision health.