Everyone expects medical professionals to be 100% truthful and straightforward, and your Sun City eye doctor should not be an exception. However, some optometrists may keep secrets from you, which can influence the way you take care of your eyes. Today, authorities from Arizona Retinal Specialists and around the United States will set the record straight.
Below, real experts weigh in on the best ways to care for your ocular health.
1. Carrots are not the best food for your eyes.
While the Easter Bunny’s favorite food plays a significant role in maintaining healthy eyes, the honor belongs to dark leafy greens. Spinach and kale are primary examples. Both are an abundant source of zeaxanthin and lutein — two antioxidants stored in the macula. The macula is part of the retina. It functions as a natural sunblock, shielding the eye from light energy and harmful free radicals.
In a nutshell, eating foods rich in these nutrients not only protect your vision, but can also maintain your eyesight long-term.
2. Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement.
According to Stephen Cohen, OD, former president of the Arizona Optometric Association, “Most people know that UV radiation can damage skin, but they don’t realize it’s also bad for eyes. You wear your sunglasses only when it’s sunny? That’s like saying ‘I only smoke sometimes.’ Wear sunglasses big enough to block the light from above and below — they should have thick sides or wrap around. If you wear contacts, ask for UV coating.”
3. Polarized sunglasses are not the ultimate sunnies.
“Polarized sunglasses are great at reducing glare, but they can make it difficult to see the LCD on your cell phone or navigation system. It is harder to see an ATM screen when you’ve got polarized sunglasses on too,” says Andrea Thau, OD, associate clinical professor at New York’s State University. Also, polarization does not block harmful UV rays. An eye doctor needs to add a separate material to polarized glasses in order to absorb and obstruct UV radiation.
Read Nine Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Sunglasses to learn more about fashionable and functional eyewear.
4. Eye drops look the same with their clear liquid content, but they address different eye problems.
If you are experiencing dry eye syndrome or an eye infection, make sure to use the appropriate medication. Brian Bonanni, MD, an ophthalmologist at Gotham LASIK, NYC claims that because some patients use the wrong eye drops, “I’ve had to remove people’s eyes.” The lesson here is, avoid grabbing an old bottle of drops from your medicine cabinet. Get a new prescription instead.
5. That’s not how you should store your eye drops.
Always store your eye drops and solutions at an optimum temperature (between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit once opened). Proper storage prevents spoilage, excessive precipitation, breaking of emulsions, denaturation of the active molecules, and crystallization of suspensions. Also, eye drops of any kind sting less if you keep them inside the refrigerator.
6. You can read at night.
Although reading in dim light is more challenging, it does not contribute to vision impairment, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The worst that could happen is suffering from a headache.
7. Do not hesitate to see a doctor if you have pinkeye.
Pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, does not always go away on its own. Some patients might end up with light sensitivity, and in rare cases, vision loss. Unfortunately, many physicians treat conjunctivitis with antibiotics that cannot remedy the problem if the cause is a virus. If viral pinkeye (adenovirus) is what you have, you will need a different treatment.
8. Stop taking medical advice from the internet.
If you want to irritate your ophthalmologist, try walking into their clinic and talk about how you diagnosed your own eye problem through Google. Please do not do this. While there is nothing wrong with looking up your symptoms before consulting with a professional, do not march into their office as if you know more than they do.
9. Eye doctors know when you cheat on an eye exam.
There are many tips and tricks on the internet detailing how you can cheat on an eye exam. Unfortunately for you, eye doctors know when you’re cheating, even if they never admit it. Keep in mind, however, that you are only cheating and hurting yourself. Your eye doctor in Sun City, AZ is here to help you. Wearing glasses or contact lenses, restricting certain activities, and undergoing LASIK benefit you in the long run.
10. You are cleaning your glasses wrong.
Because the body is naturally programmed to sweat and produce oils, keeping your glasses’ lenses smudge-free is impossible. This is especially true for some women who wear makeup on the daily.
When cleaning your glasses, never use tissues, toilet paper, and rough fabrics as they will scratch your lenses. Instead, microfiber cloths are an excellent choice for cleaning prescription eyewear.
As for glasses that are long overdue of a bath due to accumulated sebum, makeup, dirt, and grime — you can rinse them under a gentle stream of tap water. Here’s how:
- Wet the lenses, frame, nose pads, and earpieces.
- Use your fingertips to lather your glasses with lotion-free dishwashing soap. Be as careful as you can.
- Use a microfiber cloth to dry and polish your glasses.
11. Avoid wearing your contacts throughout the evening.
Although most people can comfortably and safely wear contact lenses for up to 16 hours per day, it is always best to remove them a few hours before bedtime. Also, aside from the dangers of wearing contacts in your sleep, your chances of infection are 10 to 15 times greater.
If you like to read before bed, most eye doctors recommend having a spare pair of glasses to use. Besides, glasses always come in handy even if you prefer contacts.
12. Ask a friend or family member to accompany you during a dilated eye exam.
It will take about two or three hours after a dilated eye exam for you to recommence activities that require concentrated visual attention. As a precaution, please make sure to ask someone you trust to drive you to and from your appointment.
13. Stop waiting for a problem to arise.
“No, it is not okay to wait for symptoms to appear. Some blinding eye diseases have few warning signs before they have taken away your vision. A yearly exam is the only way to catch things early,” stresses Paul Harris, OD, associate professor at the Southern College of Optometry, Memphis.
Here at Arizona Retinal Specialists, our team of experts includes Pride of America honoree Dr. Gholam Peyman — the inventor of LASIK eye surgery. Rest assured that you are in excellent hands as we are committed to providing superior-quality comprehensive eye care and treatment. Call 623-474-3937 (EYES) today to schedule an exam.