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What Should I Know About Snow Blindness?

What Should I Know About Snow Blindness?

Are you going skiing this winter? Snowboarding? Or do you plan to miss the cold weather entirely and spend the winter months on a beach somewhere, sipping a cold beverage and gazing out into the ocean? Regardless of your decision, Larson Eye Care would like to take this opportunity to discuss snow blindness, a painful condition that can arise when you spend too much time out in the snow – or, conversely, too much time on the beach. What is snow blindness? Snow blindness, a common form of photokeratitis, is a medical condition caused by overexposure to UV rays. People who develop snow blindness often spend several hours out in the snow without proper eye protection. Snow and ice can reflect UV rays into the eyes, resulting in a burned cornea. In fact, snow blindness is actually a form of sunburn. Despite the name, snow blindness can also result from UV lights reflected from sand or water. Tanning lamps, tanning beds, and arc welding can lead to the condition as well. What are the symptoms of snow blindness? Symptoms of snow blindness include: Eye pain Blurry vision Gritty sensation in eye Red eyes Increased sensitivity to light Headache Swollen eyes or eyelids Vision loss Just like other sunburns, snow blindness is not immediately painful. It may take several hours after UV exposure before symptoms appear. What is the treatment for snow blindness? Thankfully, snow blindness is a temporary condition and typically resolves itself within 24 to 48 hours. In the meantime, you can...
Five Eye-Healthy Thanksgiving Foods

Five Eye-Healthy Thanksgiving Foods

If you’re looking to cook a healthy Thanksgiving meal, look no further. Below, Larson Eye Care has outlined five foods – and over a dozen dishes – you can cook this Thanksgiving to benefit your vision. Cauliflower Cauliflower is packed with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that tends to be abundant in fruits and vegetables. Numerous studies have found that vitamin C can reduce the risk of developing cataracts, as well as slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. Cauliflower also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids may protect eyes from AMD, dry eye syndrome, and glaucoma. For a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, we recommend garlic mashed cauliflower. We also recommend roasted cauliflower steaks and truffled cauliflower gratin. Sweet potatoes Sweet potato, like cauliflower, is also an excellent source of vitamin C. In addition, it contains beta-carotene, a pigment that is converted into vitamin A in the body. When combined with other antioxidant vitamins, vitamin A may play a role in reducing the risk of vision loss in people with AMD. It may also reduce the risk of eye infections. Thankfully, this vibrant vegetable is already a staple in many people’s Thanksgiving dinners. Bake a sweet potato pie or try some roasted sweet potatoes with onions. Candied sweet potatoes are another excellent choice. Pumpkin Did you know that a serving of mashed pumpkin provides more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A?...

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...