Current Eye News
By contactus@alamocityeye.com
September 07, 2018
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Is Blue light from digital devices harmful to your eyes?

A recent report in 2018 from the University of Toledo "suggests" the possiblity.  Blue wave light is a higher energy wavelenght than other colors of light and is known to cause tissue damage.  Recent reasearch in the lab using culture dishes of cancer, neuronal and heart cells demonstrated that a combination of blue light and the molecule "retinal" (a form of vitamin A) is toxic to cells in a culture dish.  It is very important to note that this result was not demonstrated in live subjects.  

Below is a great article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology that discusses the Blue Light issue. 

No, Blue Light From Your Smartphone Is Not Blinding You

 
Written By: Dan T. Gudgel
 
Aug. 20, 2018

 

Blue light from electronic screens is not making you blind. A recently released study has been creating both concern in the public and alarmist headlines from news outlets worldwide. But experts are cautioning that the news reports are leaping to unfounded conclusions about the potential effects of blue light on the eye.

This laboratory research is not a reason to stop using your screens. When asked by The Verge whether his research showed that using electronic screens causes blindness, Ajith Karunarathne, PhD, lead author of the study, replied, "Absolutely not."

The research comes from the University of Toledo and was published in Scientific Reports. The researchers were looking at what happens when a specific chemical, retinal, is exposed to blue light. Retinal is present in the eye. And blue light enters the eye, both naturally in sunlight and from electronic screens. But the study’s findings cannot be turned into recommendations for real people in the real world.

Janet R. Sparrow, PhD, who is the Anthony Donn professor of ophthalmic sciences and professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University in New York, offered several notes of caution about this study:

  • The experiments do not mimic what happens in live eyes.
    • The cells that were tested are not derived from retina cells.
    • Cells in the study were not exposed to light in the way cells in the eye are naturally exposed to light.
    • The part of the cells that was affected by retinal in the experiments (the cell membrane) does not touch retinal in the eyes of living people.
  • Retinal is toxic to some cells whether or not it’s exposed to blue light. Live retina cells have proteins that can protect them from these possibly toxic effects.
  • Other cells that were also exposed to retinal and blue light by the investigators would not be exposed to blue light in the body. Blue light only reaches the skin and the eyes. It cannot have any effect deeper in the body.

In other words, the researchers took cells that are not from the eye, put them together with retinal in a way that doesn’t happen in the body and exposed the cells to light in a way that doesn’t happen in nature.

Real Concerns About Screen Use and Eye Safety

If you have questions or concerns about your eye health, you should talk to your own ophthalmologist. Your doctor can make recommendations that are right for you and your lifestyle.

There is evidence that blue light can interfere with humans’ circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep. For some people, it can be a good idea to limit screen time before bed. Or to filter out blue light from screens before bedtime.

Spending too much time looking at a screen can keep people from blinking as often as they should and from focusing on things at different locations. This can make the eyes feel dry, gritty, tired or strained. The simple solution is to look at least 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes. Ophthalmologists call this the ‘20-20-20’ rule.

Originally published Aug. 15, 2018. Updated Aug. 20 to include comment from Dr. Karunarathne.

By contactus@alamocityeye.com
September 17, 2017
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Eye Injuries from Laundry Packets On the Rise

                                                                                 

 

Written By: Dan Gudgel
 
 
Jun. 30, 2017

 

Between 2012 and 2015, more than 1,200 3- and 4-year-olds in the United States had chemical burns to the eye from laundry detergent packets. In 2012 there were 12 injuries reported. In 2015, there were 480 eye injuries to children from laundry packets. That’s a more than 30-fold increase in these injuries among kids during that time. A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology in March detailed the statistics.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Medical Association have teamed up to help. The Academy and the AMA are asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Association of Poison Control Centers to review the current manufacturer standards for laundry packets to see whether they need to be updated. The current standards are voluntary, not mandatory.

Laundry packets or laundry pods are often brightly colored, and kids may mistake them for toys or candy. If a laundry packet is popped, the detergent can severely burn the cornea, eyelids and skin around the eyes. Chemical burns to the eyes can result in lifelong decreased vision or total blindness. If children swallow laundry packets, the poisoning can be fatal.

If you use laundry pods, make sure you know the risks. Store them safely and keep them out of the hands of children.

In 2015, Consumer Reports pulled its product recommendation for laundry packets because of injuries to children. And in 2016, toddlers at home were found to be more at risk of chemical burns than working adults.

By contactus@alamocityeye.com
August 24, 2017
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  • Three Things You Can Learn About Dry Eye

    from Jennifer Aniston  

    Written By: Reena Mukamal
     
     
    Sep. 02, 2016

     

    For Jennifer Aniston, there are two more dry eyes in the house than she’d like. The actress recently revealed that she has dry eye condition.

    Affecting about 5 million Americans, dry eye causes discomfort and can interfere with day-to-day activities like reading and watching television. Aniston shared that she suffered with dry eye for years before getting diagnosed and treated.

    Here are three things we can learn about this common condition from her experience.

    1. What is dry eye? When the eyes do not produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep them healthy and comfortable, they can develop dry eye. Aniston complained of irritated, itchy and sometimes swollen eyes that felt worse after reading scripts. Other symptoms can include stinging or burning eyes, excess tearing and discomfort when wearing contact lenses.
       
    2. Who can get dry eye? Dry eye can be caused by a number of different biological and environmental factors, including hormonal changes in women after menopause, common medications that reduce tear secretion (e.g. antihistamines, certain blood pressure medicines, anti-depressants), and exposure to windy climates or air conditioning. Sometimes dry eye comes hand-in-hand with certain autoimmune diseases like lupus. Other times, diseases of the gland in the eyelid can cause dry eye.
       
    3. How do you treat dry eye? While Aniston suffered from symptoms for years with only temporary relief, dry eye can be managed and discomfort alleviated. Depending on the cause of dry eye, your ophthalmologist may use various approaches to treat your condition. Treatment may include use of over-the-counter artificial tear drops, prescription medication, nutritional supplements, or, in some cases, minor surgery. Your ophthalmologist can help guide you to the right treatment.
    4.  

     

By contactus@alamocityeye.com
August 08, 2017
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The Next Total Solar Eclipse: Aug. 21, 2017 across North America

Solar Eclipse & Eye Safety

(more complete information can be found at www.AAO.org)

 

There is only one safe way to look directly at the sun, whether during an eclipse or not: through special-purpose solar filters. These solar filters are used in “eclipse glasses” or in hand-held solar viewers. They must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2.

Keep in mind that ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, or homemade filters are not safe for looking at the sun.

Steps to follow for safely watching a solar eclipse:

  • Carefully look at your solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them. If you see any scratches or damage, do not use them.
  • Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses. Help children to be sure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.
  • Before looking up at the bright sun, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter—do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • The only time that you can look at the sun without a solar viewer is during a total eclipse. When the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark, you can remove your solar filter to watch this unique experience. Then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear very slightly, immediately use your solar viewer again to watch the remaining partial phase of the eclipse.
  • Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other similar devices. This is important even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.
  • Talk with an expert astronomer if you want to use a special solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.

For information about where to get the proper eyewear or handheld viewers, check out the American Astronomical Society.

By contactus@alamocityeye.com
August 08, 2017
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