Ophthalmologists Encourage Making Your Eyes Part of a Healthy Aging Strategy

News Release

Contact:

Angela Casazza

781.876.2020
quality@lexeye.com

Ophthalmologists Encourage Making Your Eyes Part of a Healthy Aging Strategy

Lexington Eye Associates and the American Academy of Ophthalmology urge people to protect their health and visioin

Lexington, MA – September 1, 2020 — According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams. In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, Lexington Eye Associates joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of having regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

Some of the more common age-related eye diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can help to save sight before vision loss occurs. Ophthalmologists – the physicians that specialize in medical and surgical eye care – recommend a dilated comprehensive eye exam as the best way to prevent these conditions from becoming debilitating.

U.S. Adults Do Not Get Eye Exams as Often as Recommended
The survey results emphasize a need for more education about the importance of medical eye exams. Findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of the following issues with their eyes or vision:

  • difficulty seeing at night;
  • blurry vision;
  • reading up close;
  • flashes of light;
  • red, watery eyes; and,
  • double vision.

Despite experiencing some level of impairment, only 13 percent admitted they had been seen by an ophthalmologist.

How Often Do Adults Need Eye Exams?
The Academy recommends that a healthy adult get a baseline eye exam at age 40, even if they have no history of eye problems or eye disease. Those who have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may require more frequent exams.

Those over age 65 who may be concerned about cost or lack of health insurance, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America program offers eligible seniors a comprehensive eye exam and up to one year of treatment at no out-of-pocket cost.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of American Academy of Ophthalmology Feb. 1-3, 2016 among 2,048 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact media@aao.org.

To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

About EyeCare America

EyeCare America, one of the country’s leading public service programs provides eye care through a pool of nearly 6,000 volunteer ophthalmologists. Since 1985, EyeCare America has helped more than 1.8 million people. Ninety percent of the care provided is at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. For more information, visit eyecareamerica.org.

Seven Myths About Children’s Eyes

News Release

Angela Casazza
781.876.2020
quality@lexeye.com

Seven Myths About Children’s Eyes

Lexington Eye Associates, Inc. and the American Academy of Ophthalmology reveal seven common misunderstandings about children’s eye health

Lexington, MA– August 3, 2020 — Think you have the facts on your child’s eye care? When is the right time to have their eyes checked? Is too much screen time damaging their eyes? Do they need to wear sunglasses? There are a lot of myths and misinformation out there about children’s eye health. Don’t turn to Dr. Google for answers, ask your ophthalmologist — a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye care — if you want to set your child up for a lifetime of good vision. Here, Lexington Eye Associates and the American Academy of Ophthalmology debunk seven common myths about children’s eye health:

  • Pink eye only happens in young children. While young kids are known for getting pink eye, due to close contact in day care centers, so can teenagers, college students, and adults — especially those who don’t clean their contacts properly. The best way to keep pink eye from spreading is to practice good hygiene, including washing your hands, not touching your eyes, and using clean towels and other products around the face.
  • Antibiotics are necessary to cure your child’s pink eye. Antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat pink eye. There are three types of pink eye: viral, bacterial, and allergic conjunctivitis. Most cases are caused by viral infections or allergies and do not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics may be prescribed for bacterial conjunctivitis depending on severity. Mild cases of bacterial conjunctivitis usually resolve on their own within 7 to 14 days without treatment.
  • Sun is bad for your eyes. While it’s true that long-term exposure to the sun without proper protection can increase the risk of eye disease, some studies suggest sun exposure is necessary for normal visual development. Children who have less sun exposure seem to be at higher risk for developing myopia or nearsightedness. Just make sure they’re protected with UV-blocking sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Blue light from screens is damaging children’s vision. Contrary to what you may be reading on the Internet, blue light is not blinding you or your screen-obsessed kids. While it is true that nearsightedness is becoming more common, blue light isn’t the culprit. In fact, we are exposed to much more blue light naturally from the sun than we are from our screens. The important thing to remember is to take frequent breaks. The Academy recommends a 20-20-20 rule: look at an object at least 20 feet away every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds.
  • Vision loss only happens to adults. The eyes of a child with amblyopia (lazy eye) may look normal, but this eye condition can steal sight if not treated. Amblyopia is when vision in one of the child’s eyes is reduced because the eye and brain are not working together properly. Strabismus (crossed eyes) is another eye condition that can cause vision loss in a child. Strabismus is when the eyes do not line up in the same direction when focusing on an object.
  • All farsighted children need glasses. Most children are farsighted early in life. It’s actually normal. It doesn’t necessarily mean your child needs glasses because they use their focusing muscles to provide clear vision for both distance and near vision. Children do need glasses when their farsightedness blurs their vision or leads to strabismus. They will also need glasses if they are significantly more farsighted in one eye compared with the other, a condition that puts them at risk of developing amblyopia.
  • There is no difference between a vision screening and a vision exam. While it’s true that your child’s eyes should be checked regularly, a less invasive vision screening by a pediatrician, family doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, orthoptist or person trained in vision assessment of preschool children, is adequate for most children. If the screening detects a problem, the child may need to see an ophthalmologist or other eye care professional. A comprehensive exam involves the use of eye drops to dilate the pupil, enabling a more thorough investigation of the overall health of the eye and visual system.

“As the kids head back to school, show them that you’ve done your homework,” said Dianna Seldomridge, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Educate yourself so they will have the best chance to preserve their vision for a lifetime.” 

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

How to Pick the Best Sunglasses to Protect Your Eyes

News Release

Contact:

Angela Casazza
781.876.2020
quality@lexeye.com

How to Pick the Best Sunglasses to Protect Your Eyes

Lexington Eye Associates and the American Academy of Ophthalmology offer seven tips for choosing sunglasses that protect against the sun’s damaging UV rays

Lexington, MA  — Sunglasses aren’t an optional summertime accessory, they’re an essential prescription for eye health. Long-term exposure to the sun without proper protection can increase the risk of eye disease, including cataractgrowths on the eye, and eye cancer. As summer gets underway, Lexington Eye Associates and the American Academy of Ophthalmology share seven essential tips for buying the best sunglasses to protect your eyes.

  • Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. Labels can sometimes be confusing. Some indicate sunglasses offer 100 percent protection from UVA/UVB radiation, others offer 100 percent UV 400 protection. Rest assured, both will block 100 percent of the sun’s harmful radiation.
  • Doubt the UV protection label? Take your sunglasses to an optical shop or an ophthalmologist’s office. Most have a UV light meter that can test the UV-blocking ability of sunglasses.
  • Buy oversized. The more coverage from sunglasses, the less sun damage inflicted on the eyes. Consider buying oversized glasses or wraparound-style glasses, which help cut down on UV entering the eye from the side.
  • Don’t be fooled by color. While dark lenses may look cool, they do not block more UV rays.
  • You don’t need to pass on cheap sunglasses. Sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot of money to provide adequate eye protection. Less expensive pairs marked as 100 percent UV-blocking can be just as effective as pricier options.
  • Don’t forget the kids. Children are just as susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays as adults. Start them on healthy habits early.
  • Consider polarized lenses. Polarization reduces glare coming off reflective surfaces like water or pavement. This does not offer more protection from the sun but can make activities like driving or being on the water safer or more enjoyable.

Even short-term exposure can damage the eyes. Sun reflecting off water can cause a painful sunburn called photokeratitis on the front part of the eye. It causes redness, blurry vision, sensitivity to bright light, and, in rare cases, even temporary vision loss.

“Think of sunglasses as sunscreen for your eyes,” said Dianna Seldomridge, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Your eyes need protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays just like your skin. Make sure your eyes are protected year-round. Harmful UV rays are present even on cloudy days.”

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

Ophthalmologists Urge Eye Protection for Recreational and Professional Sports

News Release

Contact:

Angela Casazza, MHA, PMP
781.876.2020
quality@lexeye.com

Ophthalmologists Urge Eye Protection for Recreational and Professional Sports

Lexington Eye Associates, Inc. and the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds parents, coaches, and athletes that one simple step can prevent most sports-related eye injuries

Lexington, MA– April 2, 2020 – New research shows that about 30,000 people in the U.S. go to emergency departments each year with sports-related eye injuries, a substantially higher estimate than previously reported. This April during Sports Eye Safety Month, Lexington Eye Associates, Inc. and the American Academy of Ophthalmology remind the public that the right protective eyewear is the best defense against eye injury.

Three sports accounted for almost half of all trips to the emergency room: basketball, baseball, and air/paintball guns. Sports-related injuries can range from corneal abrasions and bruises on the lids to more serious, vision-threatening internal injuries, such as a retinal detachment and internal bleeding.

Ophthalmologists — physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care — continue to remind the public that most sports-related eye injuries are avoidable.

Here are some tips for both the professional athlete and the Little League star to stay safe: 

  • Athletes should wear sports eye protection that meets requirements set by appropriate organizations.
  • Parents should make sure that children wear eye protection. Most often, those who sustain sports-related eye injuries are 18 years old or younger.
  • Eye protection can weaken with age and may no longer provide adequate protection. Consider replacing when damaged or yellowed.
  • For basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey, wear protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses.
  • Athletes who wear contacts or glasses should also wear appropriate protective eyewear. Contacts offer no protection and glasses do not provide enough defense.
  • Professional athletes should also wear sports goggles that meet national standards.

“I’ve treated many patients with eye trauma because of an unintentional blow to the face,” said Rahul N. Khurana, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Athletes often engage in these seemingly safe, yet rugged, high-impact sports with zero awareness about the potential risk factors. This is why eye protection is critical and can greatly reduce the number of emergency room visits treated each year.”

For more information on age-related macular degeneration or other eye conditions and diseases, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

Protect Your Eyes From Too Much Screen Time

News Release                                                

Contact:

Angela Casazza, MHA, PMP

781.876.2020

quality@lexeye.com

Protect Your Eyes From Too Much Screen Time

Lexington Eye Associates, Inc. and the American Academy of Ophthalmology offers tips to avoid dry, strained eyes

Lexington, MA   March 9, 2020 – A recent study found that the average office worker spends 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen. And that doesn’t include our addiction to phones and other digital devices. All this screen time has led to an increase in complaints of eye straindry eye, headaches, and insomnia. During Workplace Eye Wellness Month in March, Lexington Eye Associates, Inc. and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are offering tips to desk workers everywhere whose eyes may need relief from too much screen time.

Why does computer use strain the eyes more than reading print material? Mainly because people tend to blink less while using computers. Focusing the eyes on computer screens or other digital displays has been shown to reduce a person’s blink rate by a third to a half, which tends to dry out the eyes. We also tend to view digital devices at less than ideal distances or angles.

You don’t need to buy expensive computer glasses to get relief. In fact, a study published last month concluded that blue light filters are no more effective at reducing the symptoms of digital eye strain than a neutral filter. Instead, try altering your environment with these simple tips:

  • Keep your distance: The eyes actually have to work harder to see close up than far away. Try keeping the monitor or screen at arm’s length, about 25 inches away. Position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
  • Reduce glare: Glass screens can produce glare that can aggravate the eye. Try using a matte screen filter.
  • Adjust lighting: If a screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
  • Give your eyes a break: Remember to blink and follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking into the distance allows your eyes to relax.
  • Keep eyes moist: Keep artificial tears at hand to help lubricate your eyes when they feel dry. Consider using a desktop humidifier. Office buildings have humidity-controlled environments that suck moisture out of the air. In winter, heaters on high can further dry your eyes.
  • Stop using devices before bed: There is evidence that blue light may affect the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle. During the day, blue light wakes us up and stimulates us. So, too much blue light exposure late at night from your phone or other devices may make it harder to get to sleep. Limit screen time one to two hours before bedtime. Use nighttime settings on devices and computers that minimize blue light exposure.

“Eyestrain can be frustrating. But it usually isn’t serious and goes away once you rest your eyes or take other steps to reduce your eye discomfort,” said Dianna L. Seldomridge, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “If these tips don’t work for you, you may have an underlying eye problem, such as eye muscle imbalance or uncorrected vision, which can cause or worsen computer eyestrain.”

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The Academy is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, it protects sight and empowers lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for its patients and the public. The Academy innovates to advance the profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Through its EyeSmart® articles on AAO.org, the Academy provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

7 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Age-Related Macular Degeneration

News Release

Contact:

Angela Casazza, MHA, PMP
contact@lexeye.com          

7 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Lexington Eye Associates, Inc. and the American Academy of Ophthalmology urge the public to get the facts on the most common cause of blindness

Lexington, MA – February 1, 2020 — Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness over age 50, affecting about 2.1 million people nationwide. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss. During February, Lexington Eye Associates, Inc. joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in educating the public about the facts on AMD.

AMD is a degenerative disease that happens when part of the retina called the macula is damaged. It’s the part of the eye that delivers sharp, central vision needed to see objects straight ahead. Over time, the loss of central vision can interfere with everyday activities, such as the ability to drive, read, and see faces clearly.

Ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – have more tools than ever before to diagnose the disease earlier, and to treat it better. But these advances cannot help patients whose disease is undiagnosed, or patients who are unaware of the seriousness of their disease. People’s lack of understanding about AMD is a real danger to public health. A recent study showed that most people with AMD don’t realize it’s a chronic health issue that requires regular attention for the rest of their lives. 

The Academy offers these seven steps to help people take control of their eye health:

  1. Get regular comprehensive medical eye exams. AMD often has no early warning signs, so getting regular comprehensive eye exams from an ophthalmologist is critical to diagnosing and treating the eye disease in its early stages. The Academy recommends that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40 — the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. By age 65, the Academy recommends getting an exam every one to two years, even in the absence of symptoms or eye problems.
  • Quit smoking. Numerous studies show smoking increases the risk of developing AMD, and the speed at which it progresses. Smokers are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared with a nonsmoker.
  1. Eat a well-balanced dietMany studies demonstrate that eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-packed foods, such as salmon and nuts, may reduce the risk of AMD. Research also suggests that patients who ate fresh fish, an important source of omega-3s, were at lower risk of developing AMD.
  2. Take the right kind of vitamins. Vitamins can delay the progression of advanced AMD and help people keep their vision longer if they have intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in one eye. But make sure it’s the right combination of vitamins. A recent study found that some of the top-selling products do not contain identical ingredient dosages to eye vitamin formulas proven effective in clinical trials. 
  3. Exercise regularlyExercising three times a week can reduce the risk of developing wet AMD by 70 percent. Studies also show that physical activity may lower the odds of both early and late stages of AMD.
  4. Monitor your sight with an Amsler Grid. This simple, daily routine takes less than one minute and can help people with AMD save more of their vision. Using this grid is essential to finding any vision changes that are not obvious, so you can report them to your ophthalmologist.
  5. Know your family’s eye health history. If you have a close relative with AMD, you have a 50 percent greater chance of developing the condition. Before your next eye exam, speak with your family about their eye health history. You may need more frequent eye exams based on your family history.

“Most people understand the importance of annual medical examinations,” said Rahul N. Khurana, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “However, we often forget that our eyes also need regular evaluation by a medical doctor. Degenerative diseases, such as AMD, can now be successfully treated, but early detection is imperative to avoid lasting consequences.”

EyeCare America® Helps Save Seniors’ Sight

As seniors age, many will develop eye diseases that can become debilitating if not treated in time, such as AMD. The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America® program may be able to help. This year-round program is designed for seniors, age 65 and older, who have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years. Through EyeCare America, seniors may receive a free medical eye examination by ophthalmologists across the country who volunteer their time and services. To see if you or a loved one is eligible, visit eyecareamerica.org.

This program is co-sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Inc., with additional support provided by Alcon, Genentech, and Regeneron. As one of the largest public service programs in American medicine, EyeCare America was recognized in 2015 by the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which is the premier volunteer awards program in the United States. 

For more information on age-related macular degeneration or other eye conditions and diseases, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.