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EyeSmart features information and resources you need from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and other to help keep your eyes healthy. CSEPS encourages you to live EyeSmart!

 

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No fireworks are safe

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 8, 2018

It’s the time to talk about fireworks. The fact is that no fireworks are safe. Not even “innocent” sparklers are safe.

Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 visits to the emergency department each year. Most of those visits involve children who suffer thousands of eye injuries. Though the most disabling injuries occur with illegal firecrackers, most injuries are caused by legal fireworks parents buy for their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles. 

Here are five fireworks facts to share with your patients:
1. Sparklers are NOT safe for young children. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers are responsible for most of the injuries to children age 5 and younger.
2. It’s not necessarily safer to view fireworks than it is to light or throw them. Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as fireworks operators. Eye trauma contributes to an estimated 18 percent of the total number of fireworks injuries. 
3. Consumer fireworks are not always safe. Sparklers and firecrackers each account for 1,400 injuries to the eyes. 
4. It is not safe to pick up a firework after it has been lit. Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one. 
5. The Fourth of July can still be a “blast” without using consumer fireworks. Avoid the risk and just watch a professional show.

To help ensure people get the facts about fireworks, the Academy also created an animated public service announcement titled “Fireworks: The Blinding Truth”. It encourages the public and media to view and share the PSA. Visit the Academy’s EyeSmart® website for more information about fireworks eye safety.

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Sports are a leading cause of eye injuries

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, April 13, 2018

More than 40 percent of eye injuries that occur every year are related to sports or recreational activities. A recent study found that about 30,000 people in the U.S. went to an emergency department with a sports-related eye injury, a substantially higher estimate than previously repo rted. Three sports accounted for almost half of all injuries: basketball, baseball and air/paintball guns.

Basketball was the leading cause of injury in males, followed by baseball/softball and air/paintball guns. Baseball or softball was the leading cause among females, followed by cycling and soccer. In support of Sports Eye Safety Month in April, CSEPS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are offering athletes of all ages guidance on how to protect their eyes. 

 

Follow these tips to save your vision:  

Wear the right eye protection: For basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey, wear protection with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. 

Put your helmet on: For baseball, ice hockey and lacrosse, wear a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield. 

Know the standards: Choose eye protection that meets American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.

Throw out old gear: Eye protection should be replaced when damaged or yellowed with age. Wear and tear may cause them to become weak and lose effectiveness.

Glasses won’t cut it: Regular prescription glasses may shatter when hit by flying objects. If you wear glasses, try sports goggles on top to protect your eyes and your frames. 

Anyone who experiences a sports eye injury should immediately visit an ophthalmologist,a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye care.

For more information on sports eye safety, see the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart® website.

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Most Americans Unaware of One of the Leading Causes of Blindness Among Seniors

Posted By Chet Seward, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness among seniors, affecting approximately 2.1 million people nationwide. By 2050, it is expected that the number will more than double to 5.4 million. People may be putting themselves at unnecessary risk of vision loss by neglecting to have sight-saving eye exams. Throughout February, CSEPS joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing AMD awareness and encouraging those who are most at risk to ensure the health of their eyes by getting an eye exam from an ophthalmologist – a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.

AMD is a degenerative disease that damages the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that focuses images and relays information to the brain. Over time, retinal damage can lead to permanent loss of central vision, limiting the ability to drive, read and recognize faces.

There are two forms AMD – wet and dry. While the dry form of AMD leads to gradual vision loss, the wet form progresses at a faster rate and is responsible for 90 percent of all AMD-related blindness. Recent advancements in treatment options have significantly decreased the incidence of blindness. However, it is critical to get diagnosed and begin treatment as soon as possible to protect vision.

The Academy recommends the following steps to help potentially avoid AMD and other eye diseases:

  • 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 people over age 65 get an exam every one to two years, even if they have no symptoms of eye problems.
  • Quit smoking. Numerous studies have shown smoking to increase the risk of developing AMD and the speed at which it progresses. If you smoke, you are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared with a nonsmoker[1].
  • 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 you go in for your next eye exam, speak with your family about their eye health history. Sharing this information with your ophthalmologist may prompt him or her to recommend more frequent eye exams. The earlier AMD is caught, the better chances you may have of saving your vision.
  • Eat a diet rich in omega-3s and low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Several studies have shown that people who had a reduced risk of AMD had diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish. In one study of patients who were at moderate risk for AMD progression, those who reported the highest omega-3 intake (not in the form of a supplement) were 30 percent less likely to develop advanced AMD after 12 years. In another study, an increased risk of AMD was found in individuals who had a higher intake of saturated fats and cholesterol and in those with a higher body mass index.
  • Exercise regularly. Many studies have shown that getting regular exercise can benefit your eyes. One study found that exercising three times a week reduced the risk of developing wet AMD over 15 years by 70 percent.

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Five tips to avoid toy-related eye injuries

Posted By Chet Seward, Monday, December 11, 2017

With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, CSEPS and joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in encouraging awareness by the public about certain safety guidelines when choosing the perfect gifts for little ones in their lives. A number of recent studies have shown that some popular toy types are commonly associated with childhood eye injuries. These include air guns and other toys that shoot projectiles, high-powered lasers, and sports equipment.

Keep kids safe by following these tips when gifting toys to children this holiday season:

1.    Beware of airsoft, BB guns, and other projectile toys. Every year ophthalmologists treat thousands of patients with devastating eye injuries caused by seemingly safe toys. Avoid items with sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns and other nonpowder gun–related toys. Foreign objects can easily propel into the sensitive tissue of the eye.

2.    Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers.  A number of recent reports in the United States and internationally show that children have sustained serious eye injuries by playing with high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts). Over the years, these lasers have become increasingly more powerful, with enough potential to cause severe retinal damage, with just seconds of laser exposure to the eye. The FDA advises the public to never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone and to not buy laser pointers for children.

3.    Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. To select appropriate gifts suited for a child's age, look for and follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use, and supervision.

4.    Don't just give presents. Make sure to be present. Always make sure an adult is supervising when children are playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.

5.    Know what to do (and what not to). If someone you know experiences an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. As you wait for medical help, make sure to never to touch, rub, apply pressure, or try to remove any object stuck in the eye. If an eye injury occurs follow these important care and treatment guidelines.

“When the gift-giving and celebratory spirit of the holidays is in full swing, we can forget how easily kids can get injured when playing with certain toys,” said Jane C. Edmond M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "We hope people will take steps to shop and play responsibly this year. Following these tips can help make sure our little loved ones have healthy vision for many holiday seasons to come.”

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Five frightening risks of wearing contact lenses without a prescription

Posted By Chet Seward, Sunday, October 15, 2017

Zombie or devil contact lenses may elevate a Halloween costume’s fright factor, but wearing them without a prescription could result in something far more terrifying – blindness. CSEPS joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in urging Halloween shoppers to understand the risks of wearing over-the-counter contact lenses. 

 While it is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, they can still be easily purchased at many places such as beauty supply stores, costume shops and on the web. Falsely advertised as “one-size-fits-all” or “no prescription necessary,” these lenses can cause serious eye damage.

 Patients should be aware of the following risks:  

  1. Scratches to the eye – If contacts are not professionally fitted to your eye, they can scratch the clear front window of the eye. This is called a corneal abrasion, which is not only painful, but can cause permanent damage.
  2. Infection – Research shows wearing non-prescription contacts increases the risk of an infection called keratitis. Early treatment with antibiotic or steroid drops may preserve vision, but sometimes surgery, such as corneal transplantation, is necessary.
  3. Pink eye – Never share contacts because doing so can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye. Highly contagious, pink eye treatment depends on the cause, but typically includes antibiotic drops.  
  4. Decreased vision – Whether from a corneal scratch or infection, wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to decreased vision.
  5. Blindness – It’s no scare tactic: wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to permanent vision loss.

“One night of the perfect Halloween costume isn’t worth risking your vision,” said Thomas L. Steinemann, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “If you must have contact lenses to complete your costume, avoid over-the-counter ones at all costs. Protect your vision by getting prescription lenses from an eye health professional.”

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Four tips to make sure kids’ eyes and vision are ‘grade A’ this school year

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, August 9, 2017

With back-to-school time around the corner, parents will be scrambling to buy new school supplies and clothes. As they tick off their long list of school to-dos, Colorado ophthalmologists remind moms and dads not to neglect one of the most important learning tools: their children’s eyes

Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important. The earlier problems are identified; the sooner they can be addressed. For healthy eyes and vision throughout the school year, CSEPS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend the following four tips:

1.    Get regular childhood vision screenings – Children’s eyes change rapidly, making regular vision screenings an important step in detecting and correcting eye problems earlyIn addition to screenings for infants, the Academy recommends further vision screening for children when they are:

  • Pre-school age, between age 3 and 3 and a half
  • Entering school
  • Experiencing a possible vision problem

2.    Know and share your family eye health history– Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. Parents should share that information with the person performing the screening when possible. Examples of common eye conditions include nearsightedness, crossed eye, known as strabismus, and lazy eye, known as amblyopia. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause permanent vision loss in one eye.    

3.    Watch for signals of eye problems – Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities. Other symptoms to look for include a white or grayish-white coloring in the pupil, one eye that turns in or out, or eyes that do not track in sync together. 

4.    Wear protective eyewear when playing sports – Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays racket sports, hockey, field hockey, baseball or basketball, consider having them wear goggles or other certified protective eyewear.

Visit the AAO's website to learn more about common childhood eye conditions.

Tags:  back-to-school  childhood vision screening  children  eye smart 

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Women face higher risk of blindness than men

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Studies show there is a gender gap in eye disease. Women are more likely than men to suffer from sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma.  (Source) In support of Healthy Vision Month in May, CSEPS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology remind women to make vision a top priority. 

The numbers tell the story here. Women make up 65 percent of AMD cases; 61 percent of glaucoma and cataract patients are women, and 66 percent of blind patients are women. (Source) The good news is that most vision loss is preventable. The Academy offers five simple steps to take control of your eye health today:

  • Get a comprehensive medical eye exam at age 40. Early signs of disease or changes in vision may begin at this age.
  • Know your family history. Certain eye diseases can be inherited. Talk to family members about their eye conditions. It can help you and your ophthalmologist evaluate your risk.
  • Eat healthy foods. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and cold water fish.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Smoking also raises the risk for cardiovascular diseases which can indirectly influence your eye health. 
  • Wear sunglasses. Exposure to ultraviolet UV light raises the risk of eye diseases, including cataract. Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.
To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

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Know the score: Wear eye protection during sports

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, March 24, 2017

Sports-related eye injuries cause an estimated 100,000 doctor visits each year. Yet, most of these injuries can be prevented by wearing eye protection. In support of Sports Eye Safety Month in April, CSEPS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are offering athletes of all ages guidance on how to best protect their eyes. 

Common sports eye injuries include corneal abrasions, lacerations and bleeding in the eyeOne-third of sports related eye injuries happen to kids. The good news is that 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented with the use of protective eyewear. Save your vision while playing sports by following these tips:  

Wear the right eye protection: For basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey, wear protection with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. 

Put your helmet on: For baseball, ice hockey and lacrosse, wear a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield. 

Know the standards: Choose eye protection that meets American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. See the Academy’s protective eyewear webpage for more details.

Throw out old gear: Eye protection should be replaced when damaged or yellowed with age. Wear and tear may cause them to become weak and lose effectiveness.

Glasses won’t cut it: Regular prescription glasses may shatter when hit by flying objects. If you wear glasses, try sports goggles on top to protect your eyes and your frames. 

For more information on sports eye safety, see the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart® website

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Most Americans unaware of one of the leading causes of blindness among seniors

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, February 17, 2017

Age-related Macular Degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness among seniors, affecting approximately 2.1 million people nationwide. By 2050, it is expected that the number will more than double to 5. 4 million. People may be putting themselves at unnecessary risk of vision loss by neglecting to have sight-saving eye exams. Throughout February, CSEPS joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing AMD awareness and encouraging those who are most at risk to ensure the health of their eyes by getting an eye exam from an ophthalmologist.

The following steps are recommended to help potentially avoid AMD and other eye diseases:

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. People over age 65 should get an exam every one to two years, even if they have no symptoms of eye problems.

Quit smoking. Numerous studies have shown smoking to increase the risk of developing AMD and the speed at which it progresses. If you smoke, you are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared with a nonsmoker[1].

Know your family’s eye health history. If you have a close relative with AMD, youhave a 50 percent greater chance of developing the condition. Before you go in for your next eye exam, speak with your family about their eye health history. Sharing this information with your ophthalmologist may prompt him or her to recommend more frequent eye exams. The earlier AMD is caught, the better chances you may have of saving your vision.

Eat a diet rich in omega-3s and low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Several studies have shown that people who had a reduced risk of AMD had diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish. In one study of patients who were at moderate risk for AMD progression, those who reported the highest omega-3 intake (not in the form of a supplement) were 30 percent less likely to develop advanced AMD after 12 years. 

Exercise regularly. Many studies have shown that getting regular exercise can benefit your eyes.

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Five tips to avoid toy-related eye injury

Posted By Chet Seward, Saturday, December 24, 2016
With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, CSEPS joins AAO in encouraging you to remind your patients about following these tips when gifting toys to children this holiday season.

1. Beware of airsoft, BB guns, and other projectile toys. Every year ophthalmologists treat thousands of patients with devastating eye injuries caused by seemingly safe toys. Avoid items with sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns and other nonpowder gun–related toys. Foreign objects can easily propel into the sensitive tissue of the eye.
2. Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers. A number of recent reports in the United States and internationally show that children have sustained serious eye injuries by playing with high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts). Over the years, these lasers have become increasingly more powerful, with enough potential to cause severe retinal damage, with just seconds of laser exposure to the eye. The FDA advises the public to never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone and to not buy laser pointers for children.

3. Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. To select appropriate gifts suited for a child's age, look for and follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use, and supervision.

4. Don't just give presents. Make sure to be present. Always make sure an adult is supervising when children are playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
5. Know what to do (and what not to). If someone you know experiences an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. As you wait for medical help, make sure to never to touch, rub, apply pressure, or try to remove any object stuck in the eye. If an eye injury occurs follow these important care and treatment guidelines.

Tags:  EyeSmart 

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