According to one national survey people fear vision loss as much or more than losing hearing, memory, speech or a limb. Fortunately, there are many every day, evidence-based things people can do to help prevent vision loss. Today, we provide some of these tips and introduce you to a researcher focused on addressing one significant cause of vision impairment — dry eye disease.
Did you know…
that up to 80 percent of cases dealing with visual impairment are considered preventable? We’re learning that there are many ways we can protect our vision throughout the lifespan.
Studies with children have found that their eyes absorb more blue light than adults from digital device screens. Since these kids will likely be heavy tech users for most of their lives, the younger generation may be even more susceptible to eye problems like macular degeneration in the future. And of course, this is an even more pressing issue as so many children are now engaged in hours of daily virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For adults and kids, what we eat can also have an impact on vision — recent studies show that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Another study showed that high glycemic diets can cause retinal damage. Avoiding excessive amounts of caffeine, getting regular exercise, practicing mindfulness meditation, and wearing sunglasses are also among the day-to-day things we can do to help preserve our sight. Read more.
Speaking of sunglasses… Looking for a fun way to support serious science? Check out Two Blind Brothers (@TwoBlindBros) and follow their innovative, creative ways of bringing awareness to blindness and the search for cures. This dynamic duo has created an online retail business that sells its own brand of sunglasses, which are not only good for the eyes but are also made by employees who are visually impaired, as well as designer clothing and accessories.
Preeya Gupta, MD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine and member of Oyster Point Pharma’s medical advisory board, performs cataract surgery, Lasik surgery, and corneal transplantation, and conducts research on dry eye disease (DED), keratoconus, and cataract surgery. DED, which experts estimate affects more than 34 million in the United States, can cause pain, blurriness, and inflammation, can even injure your cornea.
Recent studies reveal that the damage doesn’t stop there — many individuals with DED find it harder to perform simple tasks such driving or getting dressed; experience significant pain that interferes with social relationships; and report increased anxiety, depression, and poor overall health.
Fortunately, in addition to the over-the-counter artificial tears currently available, there are several treatments on the horizon, including prescription eye drops and — surprisingly, a nasal spray — that can help. Read more.