DID YOU KNOW THESE 6 EYE FACTS?

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Our sense of vision is a wonderfully beautiful and complex part of our everyday life. On an average day it may be easy to take it for granted, but it’s important to take time to recognize what makes all of that beauty possible—our eyes!

We’d like to celebrate our fascinating eyes by sharing with you some fun eye trivia. Here are a few interesting facts about your eyes that you may not know!

6 Outstanding Eye Facts

1. If your eyes are blue, you share a common ancestor with every other blue-eyed individual in the world. Early humans all had brown eyes, until someone developed a genetic mutation that made their eyes blue.

2. Eyes use about 65 percent of our brainpower, more than any other part of the body. Proof that the eye is one of the most complex organs we have!

3. “Red eye” in photos occurs when light from a camera flash bounces off the back of the eye. The choroid layer at the back of the eye is rich in blood vessels. Light reflecting off of it makes the eye appear red!

4. Newborns don’t produce tears. Babies may make crying sounds, but actual tears don’t start flowing until they are between four and 13 weeks old.

5. The muscles that control your eyes are the most active out of all the muscles in your body. Your eyes are constantly making tiny jerking movements called “microsaccades.” Even when you think you’re staring at something unflinchingly, your eyes are actually moving involuntarily.

6. Eyes see an average 24 million different images in a lifetime. 24 million! Take it all in.

More Than Meets The Eye

Our eyes are far more impressive than we know. Scientists and researchers are discovering amazing new things about our eyes and bodies every day! We can all care for our vision and whole body health by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and protecting ourselves from harmful substances and activities.

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.

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VISION TIPS FOR A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP

VISION TIPS

We all have a nightly routine. But what we may not realize is that some of our bedtime habits could be harming our eyes and overall health.

Here’s a few helpful tips to help you get some better shut-eye:

Take Your Contacts Out Before Going To Sleep

We know that after a long day it can be hard to take your contacts out, but you should never skip this step! Nearly one million Americans visit the eye doctor each year with infections related to exercising improper contact lens hygiene.

Because contact lenses rest directly on the eye, they decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches your eyes from the environment. When left on longer than recommended, they deprive our eyes of much needed oxygen. This can lead to infection, inflammation, abrasions, and even permanent damage. So do your eyes a favor and be sure to remove your contacts before going to bed at night!

Steer Clear Of Your Smartphone Right Before Bed

You may not know it, but your smartphone may be throwing off your sleep cycle. Light is an important natural cue that tells our bodies when to wake and when to sleep. Smartphones, TVs, laptops, and the like emit what is called blue light—a form of light emitted by the sun.

So, when you’re scrolling through your phone while in bed, your brain reacts as it would to sunlight. This causes your body to stop producing melatonin, an important hormone that regulates sleep cycles. Thus, inappropriately timed exposure to blue light can lead to insomnia.

Get Enough Quality Shut-Eye

Getting enough sleep should be a top priority. Sleep deprivation can cause red, bloodshot eyes, dark circles, eye twitching, dry eyes, and blurry vision. Not only is lack of sleep bad for your eyes, but it’s also extremely detrimental to your overall health.

Chronic lack of sleep can increase your risk of many long term health issues such as:
Weight gain
Depression
High blood pressure
Heart failure
Stroke
Accident-related injury
Poor quality of life
Studies even show an increased mortality risk for those reporting less than six or seven hours per night. So the next time you hit the hay, you can feel good knowing how important it is for your health!

Your Health Is Important To Us

As your trusted vision care providers, we make your health our priority! We know that sleep sometimes takes a back seat to the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives, but don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Now go get some rest. You deserve it.

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.

Are Your Children’s Toys Eye-Safe?

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Did you know that roughly a quarter of a million children are seen in hospital emergency rooms each year due to toy-related injuries?

About half of these injuries are to the head and face, and many affect the eyes. While they may be fun to buy for birthdays and other occasions, certain toys pose a great risk to a child’s vision.

4 Things To Keep In Mind For Eye-Safe Toys

#1: Size

Most things will find a way into your child’s mouth, especially if they are under the age of four. When putting things into their mouths, other parts of the toy may find a way into their eyes by accident. Keep small parts and sharp edges away from younger children. If a must-have toy contains small flying parts, purchase protective eyewear.

#2: Construction

The shape and construction of the toy is very important. Stuffed, plush toys are very eye-safe, whereas action figures may sometimes pose a problem. Here are some guidelines:
The toy needs to be constructed properly so that no part will fall or break off during reasonable play. It should also not be able to be manipulated into a smaller size.
Avoid toys with rough, jagged, edges.
Make sure that long-handled toys (pony stick, broom, mop, etc.) have rounded handles as these are often involved in many eye injuries.
Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air, such as slingshots and darts, for children under six. The most common play-related eye injuries are due to projectile toys. After all, you don’t want them to shoot their eye out!

#3: Age-Appropriate

Usually, toy manufacturers provide a recommended age group for when a toy will be most appropriate for a child. For instance, a toy for a young child under three years old should never have any sharp edges or protrusions.

Supervision is prudent if there is more than one child at home. Kids will often play with their older siblings toys and inadvertently hurt themselves.

#4: Developmentally Appropriate

While paying attention to a toy’s recommended age range is important, it’s still just a guideline—and you know your child best. If a four year old is still putting objects into their mouth, they should not have certain kinds of toys. If your child is a little less coordinated, choose their toys wisely.

Sometimes, age ranges on toy labels even defy common sense. A pointy tiny sword, for example, can be labeled as suitable for three year olds when, in reality, for the average toddler it really isn’t appropriate.

We’re Here To Help

When buying your child’s next toy, keep these tips in mind! As always, we care about your family. We want your children to be accident-free during playtime so they can enjoy a long life of clear, healthy vision.

Thank you for trusting us with your family’s lifelong vision care!

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.

How Emotions Can Affect Color Perception

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The way we perceive the world depends largely on our mood

Have you ever felt angry and as a result, little things annoyed you that usually wouldn’t? Have you ever felt so happy that seemingly nothing could bring you down? We have all had these experiences, but did you know that something similar happens in the way that we perceive color? Our mood can even make the colors we see appear different than their actual hue.

Sadness Impairs Color Perception

A study consisting of 127 undergraduate students was done to assess the link between mood and color perception. Students were randomly assigned to watch an emotionally charged film clip—one sad, one happy. After the video, they were shown 48 muted color patches and were asked to indicate if the patch was red, yellow, green, or blue. The study concludes that the participants who watched a sad video clip were less accurate in identifying colors on the blue-yellow spectrum than participants who watched the happy video clip; accuracy was the same for colors on the red-green axis.

So, what does that mean exactly? It means that those who were actually “feeling blue” had a harder time identifying blue (and yellow)! Previous research shows that the neurotransmitter dopamine—the “happy” or “feel good” neurotransmitter—is specifically linked with color perception on the blue-yellow axis. Not surprisingly, dopamine is involved in vision, mood regulation, and some mood disorders. Our vision, perception, and mood are closely linked!

Seeing The World Through Rose-Colored Glasses

Although more research is being done on this subject and what exactly it means for us, in the meantime, it may be a good idea to try to see the world through “rose-colored glasses.” Happiness affects all areas of our life, even our vision as it turns out! It’s more than your eye health to us; we provide care that contributes to your whole body health. Our practice’s main goal is to keep your vision healthy so that you can be as happy as you can be!

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

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.

FSA: USE IT…OR…LOSE IT?!

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Health FSAs are employer-established benefit plans.

A health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) allows employees to be reimbursed for medical expenses. FSAs are usually funded through voluntary salary reduction agreements with your employer. No employment or federal income taxes are deducted from your contribution and distributions from the plan for qualified medical expenses are tax free. For 2015 the contribution limit is $2550.

FSA accounts are used to pay for medical and dental expenses not paid for by insurance. Eyeglasses and eye examinations and eyecare products for the employee, spouse and dependents are allowable expenditures for FSA plans.

The amount in the FSA account must generally be used within the plan year or it is forfeited.