Why You Should Wear Safety Glasses During Summer Yard Work

Summer is in full swing here in Calgary and you might be busy doing yard work around the house. You’ll want to be sure to wear safety glasses when doing this yard work.

Having an eye injury is a terrifying experience, often ophthalmologists rush into the emergency rooms to treat injuries to people who can’t see. The saddest part of this experience is that, most of these injuries are 100% preventable. Some stories for you to consider:

  • A woman was 15 feet from a trimmer, wearing regular prescription glasses and lost her eye when a piece from the trimmer broke off.
  • An experienced landscaper had his sunglasses knocked off by a rock tossed by a trimmer and bled inside his eye. Eventually his sight returned.
  • A child lost his eye when standing 30 feet from a lawnmower that launched a piece of metal.

As you can see from the above stories, neither sunglasses or regular eye glasses were enough to prevent these serious injuries. It is very important to have protective eyewear that is CSA approved and is made from a polycarbonate plastic with wrap around or side guards. This ensures nothing can enter the eye area under the frame. Also the polycarbonate ensures the goggles won’t shatter sending pieces into your eye. Every year the emergency room sees patients with severe injuries caused by the weed wacker.

Every house should have an approved CSA pair of safety goggles around the home. They are easy to find at your local hardware store. If you need prescription goggles, it’s a great idea to chat with our optometrists about your options. Sometimes, prescription lens can be put into the goggles or there may be something better suited for your needs.

Some safe practices for preventing eye injuries while using power tools during yard work:

  • Keep children and other bystanders out of the area. Most of the injuries our Optometrists see are actually not the people performing the tasks, just someone near by.
  • Always wear CSA approved eye protection.
  • Assess for hazard before beginning your task. Remove small rocks, or garbage in gardens and lawns to prevent projectiles.

We hope you use safety glasses when doing yard work to avoid serious injuries. Contact our Calgary Optometrists if you have suffered any eye damage due to doing yard work around the house.

Your Eyes Need UV Protection Even on Cloudy Days

Did you know that even UV rays are harmful even on cloudy days in Calgary? In fact because people usually don’t wear sunglasses on overcast days, exposure over time really adds up and can increase your risk of cataracts, glaucoma or age related macular degeneration and other serious eye defects. There are many things you can do to prevent this though:

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight from 11am-3pm: This is when the UV index is at it’s peak, putting you at risk. This doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, but it’s important to try to take the  necessary precautions whenever it’s possible.
  • If you wear contact lenses be sure to ask our Calgary Optometrists for a brand that has UV protection: There are many brands that offer UV protection so be sure you include this factor in your purchase decision.
  • Wear a hat: Shield your eyes from the sun whenever possible. The bigger the brim the better, as a bigger brim provides more protection.

Last but certainly not least:

  • Always, always wear sunglasses: You can virtually eliminate your risk by wearing sunglasses whenever you are outside. Shop around and try different tints to ensure you’re very comfortable in all shades of light. If you find yourself taking your sunglasses off all the time because they’re uncomfortable or obstructing your vision you will need to find something that works for you. Our Optometrists in Calgary spend the time with you ensure a great fit and tint just for you.

A very important factor in avoiding the risks of UV is protecting your children. Most of the damage is done by the time a child reaches 18, due to the fact children spend so much time outside and their eyes aren’t capable of filtering as well as an adults. Make sure your kids learn to love their hats and sunglasses using positive reinforcement and you’ll be doing them a huge favour for their future.

When Should You Get Contact Lenses

Up to 40% of contact lense wearers don’t replace their lenses within the manufacturer’s recommendations. The two biggest reasons are because of forgetfulness and an effort to save money. Another reason is surprisingly that vision care professionals are providing incorrect information. We urge you to talk with our Calgary Optometrists so you clearly understand when your contacts should be replaced.

In a recent survey it was found the biggest offenders were the two weeks contact lense wearers who reported a whooping 52% going over the recommendations. Next, it was 28% of one month lenses, however the daily disposables seem to understand the risks at only 12% going over recommendations.

Serious complications can result from overuse:

Corneal Ulcers- A burning pain in the eye caused by contact lense overuse. These ulcers are actually open sores on the eye and can also lead to eye infections.

Dry eyes- When contacts are worn for too long the build up of debris can cause the cornea to lose sensation, the result of this is dry eyes. A very irritating and sometimes painful condition.

Eye Infections- The leading cause of Keratitis, a serious infection of the cornea, is wearing old contact lenses. Many other eye infections can occur from wearing degraded contacts lenses.

Even with proper cleaning and storage of your contact lens, the plastic will have protein and lipid deposits with regular use. If left for too long these lenses that are coated and crusted with debris will begin to erode the lense, causing problems in your eyes. Also keep in mind, different people have different amounts of by-products in their tears, as some deposit a high amount of protein.

This is information to discuss with our Optometrists, as these contact lense wearers are at a much higher risk of complications. Complications with your vision can be life altering, take care of your eyes and replacing your contacts properly is so easy to do.

 

Nutrition Tips For Your Eyes

We’ve blogged about a few eye care tips. Today’s will focus more on your nutrition as it plays a role your vision.

Good nutrition is essential to stay healthy and plays an important part in protecting your eyesight. Maintaining a well balanced diet rich in nutrients from vegetables, fruits and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Vegetables

Nutrients found in vegetables are rich in antioxidants which can provide protection for your eyes. Consuming greens like spinach, kale, turnip or collard greens are good choices of nutrient dense vegetables to protect your vision and overall health of your eyes. These vegetables contain two important nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants that help prevent degeneration of the lens and retina of the eye. Acting much the same as a sunblock lutein protects the eye’s retina from damaging natural light. Kale is one of the most nutrient rich foods you can possibly have in your diet. In addition leafy greens supply Vitamin A essential for good vision and it helps protect the cornea, the eye’s outermost part.

Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and lemons are full of Vitamin C which along with Vitamin A is critical to eye health. The antioxidants they contain may help age related macular degeneration and slow the progress of cataracts. In addition these citrus fruits also contain flavonoids an antioxidant that works with Vitamin C in the body. Berries are another great source of Vitamin C and aid in reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Strawberries and blueberries contain some of the highest levels of anthocyanin another antioxidant while red berries also supply beta carotene.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the health of the retina of the eye, people who suffer from dry eye syndrome ( low tear production ) may also benefit from eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids by helping maintain the lubricant in the eyes. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut or eating walnuts are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

If you have any questions regarding diet and other ways to protect your eyesight, contact our offices in Calgary to arrange your next eye exam with Dr. Alex Wilson & Associates.