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.

SUCCESS!

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Doctors in New York have announced the successful completion of the most extensive face transplant ever performed, giving a volunteer firefighter a new nose, eyelids, ears, lips, eyebrows, and a full head of hair.

The procedure was performed at the NYU Langone Medical Centre over the course of 26 hours, and involved a team of more than 100 surgeons, doctors, nurses, and support staff, split between two rooms – the donor’s and the recipient’s. The recipient, firefighter Patrick Hardison, had lost almost all of his facial features and scalp back in 2001 when a burning roof collapsed on him in a rescue search.
Harrison’s face prior to the surgery might not look like much, but it was the result of more than 70 reconstructive surgeries that failed to give him some semblance of a normal life. His case was brought to the attention of head surgeon Eduardo D. Rodriguez, who led the world-first face transplant procedure back in August.

The donor was 26-year-old New York-based artist and cyclist David P. Rodebaugh, who died from from a biking accident.

To achieve the right face shape, Rodriguez and his team printed 3D models to use as templates for the donor’s face and scalp, so all the pieces could be fitted perfectly to Harrison’s skull. Custom-made metal plates and screws were used to further perfect the contour and symmetry of the transplanted face. Select bony structures were transplanted into Hardison’s face to rebuild the structure of his nose, chin, and cheeks.

But a face transplant isn’t just a case of neatly fitting the donor face and scalp onto the recipient’s head like a mask – everything has to be connected perfectly so circulation can be achieved and moveable parts like lips and eyelids can be manipulated as normal.

Not only were the donor’s ears transplanted, but his ear canals were also used to ensure that Hardison’s new ears don’t just look great, they also work. Even before the surgery was complete, the team could see indications that they’d successfully restored circulation to Hardison’s new features, with the colour flooding into his lips and ears. His eyelids aren’t just for show – they’ve given him his sight back by restoring his ability to blink. “I was almost totally blind,” he told Medical Xpress. “I could see just a little bit.”

UNDERSTANDING A “STIGMATISM”

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Astigmatism may be one of the most commonly misunderstood eye conditions. Many believe it’s caused by improper lighting, that it can lead to more serious eye problems, or—something we’ve all likely thought at some point—that it’s called “a stigmatism.”

The Basics Of Astigmatism

So let’s clear the air here: the term “astigmatism” comes from the Greek “a” (without) and “stigma” (point or mark). Astigmatism is caused when the lens, cornea, or both are not completely smooth, and therefore do not perfectly focus light as it enters your eye, leaving you with blurry vision.

Astigmatism is a refractive error. Like other refractive errors, it is usually genetic and develops naturally, often from birth or during childhood. It’s not caused by bad habits and it won’t lead to more severe problems. There’s not a way to prevent it from developing, but there are many options for correcting it.

Different People Experience Different Levels Of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is actually very common. Many of us have some level of astigmatism, but it’s not enough to warrant corrective treatment. Other patients with severe astigmatism may experience…
Trouble focusing
Blurry sight
Headaches and eyestrain

Trust A Professional To Provide The Best Solution For Your Individual Case

There can be many variables involved in astigmatism: the shape and focus of the eye, differences between the two eyes, and, often, additional complications of nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism can range in severity, and call for different treatments in different patients, whether that means eyeglasses, contact lenses, or corrective surgery.

With a comprehensive eye exam, we can check your visual acuity and focus. We can survey the curvature of your cornea and determine the very best treatment option for your eyes, and your lifestyle.

Talk to us about your vision! We’ll keep you seeing your best. Thanks for being a valued part of our practice.

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.

Everyone sees the world’s beauty from a different perspective. Unfortunately, women stand a far greater risk of developing eye conditions which may prevent them from seeing this beauty at all.

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How much greater is a woman’s risk of permanent vision loss? The numbers may surprise you.

Blindness Affects Twice As Many Women As Men

According to a recent study, two thirds of all blindness and visual impairment occurs in women. And even though eye disease is more prevalent in women, 75 percent of visual impairment is preventable with proper education and care.

Dry eye disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma are all diseases which affect women at a higher rate than men. Although there are no cures for these diseases, there are steps which you or the women in your life can take to prevent the risk of disease and maintain clear, healthy vision.

Early Detection Is Key To Prevention

Many eye diseases don’t present noticeable symptoms until they become quite advanced. For the best chance of effective treatment, early detection is key—for both men and women.

Here are a few important steps you can take to protect your vision health:
Get a dilated eye exam. This can help us get a better look at possible warning signs of conditions which can impair your vision.
Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. If you do smoke, take steps now to kick the habit.
Identify eye disease in your family’s medical history. An accurate family medical history can help us better detect risk factors for eye disease in you and your immediate family.
If you’re an expectant mother, get a dilated eye exam and be aware of possible vision changes during pregnancy.
Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors to block UV rays. Increased exposure to the sun can put our eyes at risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, and other serious conditions.
Use cosmetics and contact lenses safely and thoughtfully. Makeup can leave deposits on your lenses, affecting your vision and even the comfort of your lenses.

Get A Dilated Eye Exam Every Year

A recent survey found that 1 in 4 women had not received an eye exam in the past two years. Getting a dilated eye exam every year, as recommended, could save your sight! Not only that, routine eye exams can reveal conditions which can affect your whole body health—including diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

We Can Help Protect Your Sight

We are committed to not only ensuring your lifelong vision health, but your whole body health as well. If you have any questions about your risk for eye disease, or if you have questions about the risks of a loved one, come in and see us! We would love to provide you with the information you need to continue to lead a happy and healthy life.

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Image by Flickr user Larry Jacobsen used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license.