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3 Myths About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause the pressure in the eye to build up, leading to permanent vision loss and sometimes blindness. Below we sort fact from fiction.

MYTH 1: Glaucoma is a single disease

FACT

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases; the most common ones are open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG).

In open-angle glaucoma, the drainage structure in your eye is open but there is still resistance to the outflow of fluid. As a result, the fluid inside the eye does not drain correctly. This, in turn, causes an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) that damages the optic nerve. OAG develops slowly and without obvious symptoms or pain, so by the time people notice symptoms, such as peripheral vision loss, their optic nerve has already sustained damage.

Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage flow is blocked and the eye can’t drain fluid as it should. The most common cause of ACG is a narrowing of the drainage channel between your cornea and iris, causing an increase in eye pressure. This pressure damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. ACG can occur gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include eye pain, nausea and vomiting, a severe headache, and seeing halos around lights.

MYTH 2: Once you have glaucoma nothing can be done

FACT

While there’s currently no cure for glaucoma, there are many successful treatment options. Eye drops, oral medications, as well as surgical and laser procedures can help slow the progression of glaucoma. Each treatment option is used to reduce pressure inside the eye by improving the fluid flow out of the eye.

MYTH 3: With glaucoma, vision loss is inevitable

FACT

While glaucoma can’t be prevented, it’s possible to prevent significant vision loss or blindness.

How? By undergoing regular comprehensive eye exams. As soon as your eye doctor detects you have glaucoma, the sooner you can start treatment. That’s why routine eye exams which include glaucoma testing are so important.

Early detection is key in preventing or slowing ocular damage. Contact EYEcenter Optometric in , Gold River, Rocklin, Folsom and Sacramento to book your comprehensive eye exam today!

At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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Computer Vision Syndrome

How many hours each day do you spend staring at a screen of some sort? One? Three? Five? More? EYEcenter wants you to know what this could mean for your vision.

According to the American Optometric Association, the average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer alone, either in the office or working from home. This coupled with the additional time Americans spend on a smartphone, tablet and/or television equals LOTS of screen time and the uptick in what we know as digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged digital device use. The most common symptoms associated with digital eye strain are headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck/shoulder pain. These symptoms may be caused by poor lighting, glare on a digital screen, improper viewing distances, poor seating posture, or a combination of these factors.

In addition to the strain, today’s digital devices and computer monitors also pose another problem for our eyes: they emit blue light. Exposure to this high-energy light can contribute to digital eye strain in as little as two hours of exposure. Here’s why: Since blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused on. So once that blue light enters your eyes, they continually strain to focus and keep up with the blue light. This unfocused visual “noise” can contribute to digital eye strain.

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Here are some tips to help reduce digital eye strain:

Talk to your eye doctor. Any underlying visual or eye problem will exaggerate digital eye strain. An annual trip to the eye doctor is critical for the entire family (especially children) to discover these problems. Ask us about the best lens options to help you or your children reduce eye strain. Even if you don’t wear corrective lenses, there are blue light coatings that can be applied to non-prescription eyewear.

  1. Talk to your eye doctor. Any underlying visual or eye problem will exaggerate digital eye strain. An annual trip to the eye doctor is critical for the entire family (especially children) to discover these problems. Ask us about the best lens options to help you or your children reduce eye strain. Even if you don’t wear corrective lenses, there are blue light coatings that can be applied to non-prescription eyewear.
  2. Observe the 20-20-20 rule. Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes and spend 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet away. Also, blinking more often helps to moisten your eyes, which may help reduce visual discomfort.
  3. Be sure to blink. Blinking decreases to ⅓ of the normal rate when looking at a digital screen. Intentionally blink–this will keep your tear film from evaporating too rapidly and leaving you with dry, irritated eyes.
  4. Check your digital distance. Make sure the device you’re using is at an optimal distance for your best viewing (approximately 24” from the eyes). This is especially important for children since their shorter arms put them closer to screens when holding devices– intensity of blue light increases the closer your eyes are to the source. If using a phone or tablet, use the landscape mode for larger font size and easier viewing.
  5. Use proper lighting. Turn down the brightness on your screens to reduce the amount of blue light exposure, especially during the evening hours. Don’t use your device’s automatic settings for brightness–Adjust them so your screen is at the same light level as your surroundings.
  6. Reduce glare. Adjust your room light as well, so you are not sitting in the dark or an overly bright room. Soft light that comes from the side is best. Close blinds and position yourself so room lighting isn’t reflected on your screen. Use an anti-glare coating on devices when possible.

Schedule an appointment today and ask us about the ways we can help protect your eyes from potential damage from digital devices.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s vision needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you with Computer Vision Syndrome. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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