Friday, October 5, 2012

SCREENS, PHONES, TABLETS AND MORE: reducing digital eye strain.

Few tips from the recent report by the Vision Council:

• Reduce glare. Adjust the brightness of your screen by checking the control settings on your digital
device. Consider changing your background color from bright white to a cooler gray. Glare reduction
filters are also available and can easily attach to computer screens.

• Clean your screen. Frequently dust and wipe digital screens to help reduce glare.

• Dim your surrounding lighting. Lessen the amount of overhead and surrounding light that is competing with your device’s screen. Dim inside lights and try to avoid outside areas of intense brightness. This can help to reduce glare and strain.

• Keep your distance. Position your device so there is sufficient distance between your eyes and the screen.  For computers, try sitting in your chair and extending your arm. Your palm should be able to rest comfortably on the monitor (as if you’re high-fiving the screen).  For hand-held devices, try to keep the device a safe distance from your eyes and hold it just below eye level.

• Adjust your screen. Digital screens should always be directly in front of your face and slightly below eye level. Do not tilt a computer monitor.

• Increase text size. Bump up text size to help better define the content on your screen. Use the settings control to make adjustments that feel comfortable to your eyes.

• Blink more often. Starring at a digital screen can affect the amount of times you blink, causing eyes to dry. Remind yourself to blink more often, which will also help to refocus your eyes.

• Take a 20-20-20 break. Even short breaks can make a huge difference. Every 20 minutes, take a
20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

For a full report visit

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scholarship to be awarded for 'most beautiful eyes'

A $10,000 educational scholarship is up for grabs in Prevent Blindness America’s (PBA’s) 2012 Most Beautiful Eyes Contest.  Through July 31, parents of children aged up to 17 years can enter their children in the contest by submitting a photo at The first 50 entrants will receive a free pair of children’s sunglasses (Real Kids Shades [RKS]).
“Keeping our children’s eyes healthy has been a top priority since our organization was founded in 1908,” said Hugh R. Parry, PBA president and chief executive officer. “Through the Most Beautiful Eyes Contest, we hope to remind parents of the important role that healthy vision has in a child’s development and potential performance in school.”
The public will be able to vote online Aug. 1 to 31. One contestant from each state will advance to the second round of voting. All state winners will receive a free pair of children’s sunglasses (Eagle Eyes Optics Rock-It, including a children’s Fisher Space Pen).
Broadcaster Larry King, “Fox NFL Sunday” host Curt Menefee, and actress Barbara Eden will serve on the celebrity panel of judges selecting the national winner. The national winner and two family members will be invited to PBA’s annual awards banquet Nov. 2 in Chicago, where the scholarship will be awarded.
Marchon Eyewear, Eagle Eyes Optics, RKS, and Walters Golf are sponsoring the contest. For more information, visit the PBA Web site,, or call 800/331-2020.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Pollution & Conjunctivitis
Air pollution irritates the eye. Although this makes intuitive sense, few studies have been published on the topic. Now a team of researchers reports that pollutants increased demand in Taiwan for outpatient care for nonspecific conjunctivitis.1
The team, which includes an ophthalmologist, a biochemist, and an environmental engineer, measured the impact of air pollution on ocular health by coupling national health insurance data for outpatient visits between 2007 and 2009 with daily ambient air quality data tracked by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration. 
Unlike other conditions affected by air pollution—asthma, for example—the effect on the eye from exposure to pollutants is immediate. 
The researchers found that ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced the strongest effects. Large-diameter particulate matter (PM) had an adverse effect, although fine PM did not. 
The authors report that conjunctivitis accountsfor more than 40 percent of ophthalmologic outpatient visits annually in Taiwan.
The study’s conclusion did not surprise Susan M. MacDonald, MD, who noted that the term “urban eye allergy syndrome” is already part of the medical lexicon. “Poor air quality can exacerbate allergic conjunctivitis and dry eye,” said the director of comprehensive ophthalmology, Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Mass.
But Dr. MacDonald said that it is easy to overlook air quality when evaluating patients. She called the study “a good reminder that air quality does affect our patients’ eyes and should be considered when we are evaluating patients with ocular irritation.”

1 Chang C et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53(1):429-433.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April is Sports Eye Safety Month

During Sports Eye Safety Month in April, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), through its EyeSmart program, is reminding athletes to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear, properly fitted by an eye-care professional, to prevent a sports-related eye injury.
“As an ophthalmologist, I strongly encourage all athletes to use the appropriate protective eyewear for their sports, because eye injuries can be devastating,” said Aaron Weingeist, MD, a clinical correspondent for the AAO. “In fact, some athletes suffer permanent vision loss and blindness from sports-related injuries.”
The AAO recommends lenses made from polycarbonate materials because they can withstand the impact of a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour. The organization also recommends purchasing only eye protection that has been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials standards.
“Unfortunately, most youth sporting leagues don’t require children to wear eye protection,” said Dr. Weingeist. “That’s why we’re trying to raise awareness and arming parents and athletes with the information they need to take care of their eyes during sports.”