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Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

The week before Memorial Day marks Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, an annual awareness week that aims to prevent drowning, pool chemical injuries, and illness outbreaks. This year, Larson Eye Care encourages our patients to pay special attention to their contact lens habits, particularly while they’re swimming. Is it safe to wear contact lenses in water? No! If you’re thinking about dipping into a pool, lake, or ocean this summer, you should remove your contact lenses first.Water – even seemingly clean water – can contain countless microbes and viruses. Most of the time, your eyes naturally fight these invaders by blinking them away. When you’re wearing contact lenses, these foreign organisms can get stuck between your eye and the lens, leading to irritation, infections, or even conditions that can permanently harm your vision. Acanthamoeba keratitis: Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare, but serious condition in which an organism known as Acanthamoeba infects the cornea, leading to inflammation and potential corneal scarring. If not caught early, people with this condition may need a corneal transplant to recover their lost vision. Corneal ulcer: A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea, typically caused by an infection. Symptoms of corneal ulcers include pus or discharge, blurred vision, redness, severe pain, and a persistent sensation of having something in your eye. Some people may also notice a white spot on their cornea. In addition, water can dislodge rigid gas...

Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Pop quiz! Who is at a greater risk of developing eye disease: men or women? If you guessed “both”, then you’re not alone – but you’re also not correct. Despite common belief, women are significantly more likely to develop common eye diseases than men. According to a study conducted by the organization Prevent Blindness America, women make up the majority of older Americans who are visually impaired or blind. Because of this gender disparity, Prevent Blindness American has dubbed April Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Each April, physicians across the country – including those at Larson Eye Care – do what they can to promote awareness of common eye diseases that affect women. Which eye diseases disproportionately affect women? Compared to men, women are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy – the four leading eye diseases in the country.Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to dry eye syndrome, light sensitivity, eye puffiness, and prescription changes. Women experiencing menopause are at a greater risk of developing dry eye syndrome and uveitis, inflammation of the eye. What should women do to maintain healthy vision? The first step is awareness. According to a survey conducted by Prevent Blindness America:86 percent of American women incorrectly believe that men and women are at equal risk of permanent vision loss 5 percent believe that men are at a greater risk Less than 10 percent realize that...

National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, an awareness month created by the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This March, Larson Eye Care is celebrating National Nutrition Month by highlighting some food – and recipes – that can keep your eyes healthy. Kale Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are filled with antioxidants, which have been found to reduce the risk of some forms of eye disease includingmacular degeneration.Allrecipes: Kale, Quinoa, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette Brussels Sprouts Brussels Sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C have been found to reduce the risk of cataracts. Other vegetables that are high in vitamin C include broccoli, radishes, and bell peppers.Allrecipes: Spicy Brussels Sprout Chips Strawberries Speaking of vitamin C, strawberries are another great source! Other fruits with high levels of vitamin C include blackberries, grapefruits, and papayas.Allrecipes: Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch Sunflower seeds When was the last time you bought yourself a packet of sunflower seeds? Sprinkle some on your salad, or munch on them as a snack. They’re filled with vitamin E, which can be great for fighting common eye diseases. Almonds and pecans also are also excellent sources of vitamin E.Allrecipes: Crunchy and Delicious Granola Oysters Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, a mineral that is essential for maintaining a healthy retina.Allrecipes: Chef John’s Oysters Rockefeller Turkey Not a big fan of...

September is Healthy Aging Month

Every September, the American Academy of Ophthalmology celebrates Healthy Aging Month. The goal of Healthy Aging Month is to encourage older adults to keep an eye out for symptoms of common health concerns, including visual disorders. Common eye conditions for older Americans  Age-related macular degeneration Cataracts Glaucoma Diabetic eye disease Many of these conditions have no obvious symptoms, which is why it’s necessary to make regular, comprehensive eye exams. What is age-related macular degeneration? Age-related macular degeneration (often shortened to AMD) is a degenerative eye disease characterized by a loss in central vision. You may find it difficult to focus on objects straight ahead of you, leading to struggles with activities like reading, driving or watching television. Over time, these symptoms will worsen. Thankfully, AMD is treatable. Injections, supplements, photodynamic therapy and laser surgery are all ways in which doctors can work to prevent further loss of vision. What is cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, leading to dim or blurry vision. Symptoms are often subtle at first, but with time, the lens will change colors, giving your eye a yellow or brownish tint. Cataracts are very treatable – in fact, doctors have been treating cataracts with surgery for thousands of years. During cataract surgery, your eye will be numbed and the doctor will carefully remove the old lens and replace it with a new, artificial lens. What is...

Larson Eye Care’s Comprehensive Guide to the 2017 Solar Eclipse

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is on the horizon! On August 21st, the moon will move between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow and darkening the skies. Cities from coast-to-coast will have an opportunity to view this spectacular natural phenomenon, although only a small portion of the country will witness the sun vanish completely. Can I see the eclipse in Sheboygan, WI? Even though Sheboygan and the surrounding areas won’t be experiencing a total eclipse, we’ll still get an excellent view of a partial eclipse. The sky will still darken and the moon will still obscure the sun. Get ready! We’re expecting the eclipse to begin around noon, with a peak at around 1:15 PM CDT. For a more comprehensive image of when and where you can view the eclipse, check out this helpful, interactive graphic. Why is it dangerous to look at the sun during an eclipse? Looking directly at the sun can be dangerous, especially during an eclipse. When you normally glance at the sun, your eyes hurt almost immediately, causing you to look away and avoid any damage. During an eclipse, the moon blocks the sun’s usual brightness, making it less painful (or even painless!) to look at. Even though you can’t feel the sun damaging your eyes, it can still damage your retina. Is it possible to go blind during an eclipse? Yes, it is. Your retina is responsible for processing any light that enters your eyes. Prolonged exposure to the sun can irreparably damage your retina, preventing it from sending...