FAQ: February 2016

By AFM Staff – February 1, 2016

Is there a negative effect smartphones have on our vision? If so, what can we do to decrease it?

I believe time will show that excessive use of smartphones will affect the pigmentation of the macula, which is the eye’s area of fine vision.  To counteract the risk of damage, spectacle lenses that block blue light are recommended.  It is similar to an anti-reflective coating, but the focus is on certain light wavelengths.
Eye strain is also a byproduct of increased smartphone use. To reduce the negative risk of smartphones, either moderate use is recommended or taking frequent breaks.  

How can poor health or obesity have an effect on your vision/eye health?

When there is poor control of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, retinal hemorrhages can appear and cause permanent eye damage if left untreated.
With obesity, floppy eyelid syndrome can be seen in which the eyes do not close completely during sleep and can lead to dry eye complications.

In a bright and sunny place like Austin, what qualities should people be looking for when buying sunglasses to protect their eyes?
In any pair of eyeglasses, UVA and UVB protection are mandatory which is needed to protect the eyes from UV exposure from the sun.  Also, make sure that the lenses are acceptable optical quality.  Inexpensive sunglasses may have distorted optics which can lead to eye strain.

What are your top three tips to maintain vision health?

For contact lens wearers, the most important thing is to eliminate contact lens overwear and replace and clean the contact lenses properly.
Proper hydration is crucial as dry eyes are another symptom of extensive computer usage.
Annual eye exams are strongly recommended.  Visual problems that are caught early will have a higher success rate of resolution vs. problems that have been left untreated for years.



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