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Eye Care: I Can See Clearly Now
Three things you can do to protect your eyes


BY GUY FIORITA

May 2018



We all know that eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep is good for us, but according to the experts, these things not only make you look better, they’ll help you see better too.  “A healthy lifestyle positively affects both a person’s eye health and the function of their vision. Poor diet and unhealthy habits like smoking can put a person at risk for developing eye diseases like macular degeneration. Poor nutrition, lack of sleep and stress can cause a person’s functional vision to work inefficiently and lead to symptoms that negatively impact performance,” says Brandon Begotka of  The Vision Therapy Center.

Vision problems and eye disease can also stem from problems often associated with lifestyle like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Diabetes, which seems to be everywhere these days, can also affect one’s vision. The fluctuating blood sugar levels of diabetes can cause diabetic eye disease whereby the blood vessels that nourish the retina become weak or abnormal. This leads to internal leakage and bleeding that eventually blurs vision and permanently impairs sight.

“With time, damage can cause blurring, distortion, dark spots and permanent vision loss. Fortunately, when treatment is necessary, we have had great success with the same medication injections that are used for macular degeneration, which can stabilize vision and, in some cases, even improve sight,” explains Dr. Daniel Ferguson of Eye Care Specialists.

Macular degeneration is a common problem, especially as we age, but it can also be linked to poor overall health. “Lifestyle changes can help with the dry form of AMD,” says Dr. Daniel Paskowitz of Eye Care Specialists. “We usually recommend vitamin supplements, sunglasses and not smoking to prevent or slow progression.”

Spending more time in front of a computer, tablet or smartphone is also putting our eyes at risk. “It’s very important to take steps to reduce the amount of stress this puts on your vision. Take a break every 20 minutes and look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get up and move around at least once every hour. Hold the screen directly in front of your eyes, not off to one side or the other, and have it no closer than 16 inches from your face,” says Begotka.

Cindy Seemann of Design Vision Optical agrees that a simple change of habits is sometimes the key to protecting the eyes. “If you do need to be in front of a screen a lot due to your work, then the digital eye strain can be helped with anti-glare lenses treated with blue light protection. They filter out the harmful blue light rays and also help with the sleep interruption that can be caused from the harmful blue light from the digital devices. Even people who do not need vision correction should protect their eyes with these lenses.” 

Dr. Michael Raciti, MD, of Eye Care Specialists, offers the following tips for protecting vision: “Eat a diet low in fat and sugar and high in healthy nutrients. Take a multivitamin, which may help prevent or slow the clouding of the lens that forms cataracts as well as boost overall health. Exercise, even a simple routine of regular walking, has been shown to help decrease risks of developing glaucoma and other eye conditions. Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the risk for cataracts, diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration by up to five times.”

“If I could tell people two lifestyle decisions they should make concerning their eyes they would be, first and foremost, think about your eyes,” says Seemann. “Have a comprehensive vision exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist at the very least every two years. The second most important thing is to wear sunglasses outdoors on both sunny and cloudy days during winter and summer.  UV light is cumulative damaging and can cause irreversible damage, including early cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye conditions like growths on the eye and sunburn of the eyes.”

 

Design Vision Optical

Design Vision Optical is an independent vision care practice offering eye exams, contact lenses and prescription eyewear. With more than 1,000 pairs of frames and sunglasses, Design Vision Optical makes shopping for eyewear fun. Design Vision Kids is their children’s eyewear division trusted by local pediatric doctors to fit babies, toddlers and children with glasses. Outside prescriptions and insurance are welcome. www.designvisionoptical.com
 

Eye Candy

From smart to glam, from artistic to tailored, Eye Candy has eyeglasses to fit your unique personality. Make a bold statement or keep it sublet yet stylish. Eye Candy carries a fabulous, ever-changing selections of frames and sunglasses created by independent designers. What’s more, they never sell the same pair twice. Eye Candy Kids offers a wide selection of eye wear for infants to almost adults so your kids can love their look as much as you do! www.eyecandywi.com
 

Eye Care Specialists

Eye Care Specialists is a state leader in ophthalmology trusted by more than 130,000 doctors and patients for world-class medical, surgical and laser care of virtually every eye concern. Their team also conducts one of the country’s largest educational programs for patients and professionals and is a sought-after media source. www.eyecarespecialists.net
 

Petrou Eye Care  

Dr. Christina Petrou is an experienced doctor providing detailed eye health exams for all ages. She specializes in finding optical solutions for eyes with sensitive vision as well as  other eye problems including red, irritated or dry eyes; eye strain or headaches; blur due to macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, or autoimmune disease. www.petroueyecare.com

 

Retina & Vitreous Consultants of Wisconsin

Retina and Vitreous Consultants of Wisconsin, Ltd provides a wide range of specialized services in the medical and surgical treatment of retinal and vitreous problems. Continuous professional care is assured through their team of physicians and staff who will work closely with your referring doctor. www.rvcow.com

 

UWM Audiology Group

No matter what your age or degree of hearing loss, the caring staff at UWM Audiology Group will guide you through the many treatment options available and help you discover how to manage your hearing loss so you can live life to the fullest. www.uwm.edu/audiologygroup







 

This story ran in the May 2018  issue of: