Being Outdoors Could Increase Eyesight

A new study has shown that letting your children play outdoors could greatly decrease the risk for myopia (nearsightedness).  A study with over 10,00 subjects, although was presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology  annual   past weekend.

The data shows that each hour spent outdoors during the week decreased the risk of myopia by 2%.  It also showed that children who were nearsighted stayed indoors nearly 4 hours more than those who were not.  An interesting study that has no conclusive answers looked at if those children who stayed in doors did more activities with near work such as reading or playing activities.

The rise in myopia may have some correlation to the rise of the use of the computer.  The computer is a close work activity that also involves being indoors.  No conclusive studies have been done, but a few are in the process.

There was no specific activity that reduced the risk of myopia, so far just generally being outdoors.   There are a variety of factors that are hard to manipulate while doing these studies but hopefully with future research we will be able to narrow down the results.  Hopefully we will be able to greatly reduce myopia across the board by finalizing a conclusion as to watch age, and what activity best reduces myopia.


DigiVersal: An Easy Way to Share Diagnostic Images

Today with all of our patients documents going digital, it would be easy if all of the information, including photos, could be digital.  Kowa Medical has made its very own managing system for your patient’s diagnostic images, DigiVersal (which runs well with our patient management system activEHR).  These images can come from a variety of technologies such as cameras, slit lamps, and OCT’s. DigiVersal allows for flawless flow of patient data and diagnostic images from a variety of technologies because we know that ease of data transfer is key for clinicians and patients.

DigiVersal independently gathers images from numerous diagnostic tools and brings them together into one inclusive folder.  This allows for ease of access, as well as analysis.  The database in which the information is collected is both organized and easily searchable.  This database system can be accessed network wide, which allows for multiple clinics to work together.

We have a brochure and more information online.  Please go to www.kowa-usa.com.


Knowing Your Family Eye Health History is Important!

We all wonder at times, what part of our parent’s genes did we get?  What genes are inheritable, which are not?  What disease could we have passed to our children?  There are a few eye diseases, which are genetic and can be passed down through generations.  That is why knowing your families history is so important.   Some of these diseases we are able to prevent or slow down with the proper knowledge.

The most common genetic, but preventable, eye disease is Macular Degeneration.  This is preventable with some simple change in lifestyle.  The first step is to use UV protection.  UV rays have been known to both increases the risk of macular degeneration as well as to stimulate the onset of the disease.  Most doctors recommend having 98% or higher UV protected sunglasses.  Wearing polarized glasses is even better because it will protect one’s eye from blue light.

Another preventative measure is the right nutrition.  Diets high in antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C, and E greatly reduce the risk of macular degeneration.  Foods such as dark leafy greens, spinach, carrots, and oranges.  Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for other recommendations.

Regular eye exams are the number one recommended prevention and treatment method.  Early diagnosis to such a disease is key.  It is recommended to go in once a year for a check-up, but if you are worried always go to see your doctor.


October is Eye Injury Prevention Month

October is Eye Injury Prevention Month.  Preventing injury starts with precautionary safety measures.  For most people thinking about eye protection is not primary, we wear gloves when gardening, hats for sun, shoes and hard hats for machinery.  But, during all of these tasks are eyes are also in danger.  Our eyes should be on the first things we think about, and the good news is they are easy to protect!

More than 1 million people suffer from eye injuries each year in the US, almost 90% of these are easily preventable.  The first step is to buy, and wear safety goggles.  Today, as fashion can be a big issue, these safety goggles comes in different colors, shapes, and sizes.   They even sell tinted ones for wearing outside.

When working with any inside with any chemicals always read the labels first.  Many times the label with explain precautionary steps to take for your eye health, as well as steps to take if the fluid does get in one’s eye.  By reading the label before hand, one is not caught off guard when the fluid does come into contact with one’s eye.

When in a workshop think about the work one will be doing: will debris particles be in the air?  Are you working with gases or chemicals?  Are you working with fire?  Will your eyes be exposed to the sun?  When any of the answers to these questions are “yes” wearing protective goggles is a must.

When working outside it is important to wear at the very least sunglasses.  Sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV radiation.  They also help to protect your eyes from other debris, but they are not as protective as safety goggles, as they don’t have a protective side.

Prevention is key to protecting your eyes from injury.  In the case that an injury does occur go to the doctor or hospital as soon as possible so that as little damage as possible may be done.  Keep your eyes safe and healthy this month, no one wants to be wearing a  real patch for Halloween!