Smoking And Your Health

Did you know that cigarette smoke contains as many of 4,000 different chemicals (most of them toxic) including carbon monoxide? Chemicals like butane (found in lighter fluid), methane (sewer gas), ammonia (cleaner) and arsenic (poison). If that's not enough to stop you from smoking, check out these facts about smoking and your eyes.

  • Smokers are 4 times more likely to go blind in old age. 
  • According to some studies, people living with a smoker double their risk of developing macular degeneration. 
  • Female smokers over the age of 80 are 5 1/2 times more like to develop AMD (age-related macular degeneration) than non-smokers of the same age. 
  • Children exposed to tobacco smoke have a 20% greater chance of developing allergic conjunctivitis. 
  • Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely, and increase their risk of their baby developing crossed eyes and potentially a blinding disease called retinopathy of prematurity. 
  • Cataracts are the leading cause of vision and studies have shown that people who smoke double their risk of developing cataracts. 

If you smoke please try and stop!

Types Of Vision Defects

Defects in the shape of the eye include nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Farsightedness results when the eyeball is too short and the focus falls behind the retina. Nearsightedness is caused by the eyeball being too long and the focus falling in front of the retina. Astigmatism occurs from abnormalities in the shape of the cornea or the lens. 

Swimming The Summer Away...And Your Eyesight

With summer here that means swimming will probably be a normal occurrence for many people. That being said, there is something you should definitely avoid while doing so - wearing your contacts. Now, we no this sounds like a huge inconvenience. this means you'll have to take out your contacts before jumping in the pool, find a place for them, and not be able to see well while swimming. We get it. It's tough, but here's the deal - swimming with contacts can result in eye infections, irritation and potentially sight-threatening conditions such as a corneal ulcer.

The FDA recommends that contact lenses should not be exposed to any kind of water, including tap water and water in swimming pools, oceans, lakes, hot tubs and showers. Again, we know many of you probably shower with your contacts, and really don't want to deal with the hassle of taking them out beforehand. But, trust us. 

Water can be home to countless viruses and dangerous microbes. One of the most serious is the Acanthamoeba organism, which can attach to contact lenses and cause the cornea to become infected and inflamed. This condition, called Acanthamoeba keratitis, is associated with wearing contact lenses while swimming and can cause permanent vision loss or require a corneal transplant to recover lost vision if not treated early enough.

So, trust us. It's not worth leaving them in!

Eye Health As You Age

The Ocular Nutrition Society's "Eye of the Boomer" survey interviewed 1001 men and women from ages 45-65 (the baby boomer generation) to evaluate their eye care habits and gauge the level of understanding on the relationship between proactive eye care and eye health. Bausch + Lomb sponsored the survey. 

  • 4 out of 5 boomers feel vision is the most important sense. 
  • Baby boomer health concerns were broke down by the following:
    • 55% were worried about loss of vision
    • 60% were worried about heart disease
    • 62% were worried about cancer

The National Eye Institute estimates over the next 30 years, the number of Americans with eye health issues will double due to aging baby boomers. Almost 50% of people said they do not have a vision exam at least once a year, which will only increase the amount of untreated vision problems. While more than half of the baby boomers surveyed are taking supplements to protect their joints, bones, or heart health, less than 20% said they take supplements to support their eye health.

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a progressive, non-inflammatory disorder that causes a characteristic thinning and cone-like steepening of the cornea. 

Symptoms:

  • Distortion of vision
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Reduction in visual acuity 

Causes:

The cause of the weakening is due to an imbalance on enzymes within the cornea itself that leads to high levels of damaging "reactive species" chemicals . 

Prevention:

All patients with Keratoconus should protect their eyes by wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses with the wrap-around design.