How Are Your Eyes?

Eye Safety Tips From Dr. Levinson

By: Samantha Leader

Eyes are one of the most beautiful and sensitive parts of the human body. Women and Men participate in activities at work and out of work every day not thinking of the damage that could happen to their eyes.

The most common eye injury, according to Dr. Bruce Levinson, Eye care of CNY, is a corneal abrasion. This is a disruption of the most forward layer of the cornea. This type of injury can easily be treated with antibiotics and a therapeutic contact lens or a thin layer of amniotic tissue, such as a Prokera.

There are many things that the average person does every day that is putting stress on their eyes without them noticing such as smoking, not wearing sunglasses, blue lights (cell phones, computer screens, TVs, led screens, etc.), lawn care, bleaching clothes, and more.

The average person stares at a computer screen or a cell phone most of their days, this means eye doctors see an increase in glasses in the pediatric population. We can decrease this by trying to prevent how much we are looking at a computer screen, tablet, or phone throughout the day. The blue light is one of the main things that affect the retina. All children should be tested by the age of 4 and annually thereafter, by the age 8-9 the retina is non modifiable, according to Dr. Levinson.

“Of the almost 47 percent of all injuries occurring outside the workplace, about 40 percent occurs at home. Bleach, cleaning agents can cause a chemical irritation and damage to the cornea and grease splatter can cause damage to the cornea and skin around the eye,” Dr. Levinson said.

Most Women get home from work on a daily basis and cook dinner, do laundry, clean the house, etc. While doing these activities, they could be damaging their eyes without knowing by using cleaning supplies, and cooking oils that have certain products in them. Along with Women, there are always men who like to be a “weekend warrior or homeowner” with tools. “As a weekend warrior who is going to remodel the entire house in 36 hours, only 5% wear safety glasses,” said Dr. Levinson. Men or women can extremely reduce the amount of injuries to the eye in the house or outside the house doing lawn care by putting on a pair of safety glasses.

According to Dr. Levinson, of all the injuries occurred about 80% of people were not wearing protective wear at the time of the injury, the people who were wearing protection only 6% were safety rated.

Along with safety glasses while doing work, sunglasses are a big part of eye safety. Most people have the idea in their heads that in the winter it is not as important to wear sunglasses while driving or just in every day outside activities. This idea is wrong causing many people to put more stress on their eyes, advance aging around the eyes, and increase the possibility of cancer around the eye secondary to UV light, he said.

“The lack of sunglass use in the winter can cause the same amount of damage than in the summer. The reflection off the snow can cause snow blindness resulting in elevated amounts of glare,” Dr. Levinson said.

There are a few ways that a person can improve vision in a healthy, non-diseased eye. Those ways include refractive surgery, a procedure to reduce the amount of nearsightedness, and CRT (corneal refractive therapy or orthokeratology) a procedure where a person is fit with a therapeutic contact lens while they sleep. “I feel CRT is a better option because it is reversible,” Dr. Levinson said.

The stand out for woman is dry eye, a condition that is treatable with great success. Women suffer from this disease twice as much as men, according to Dr. Levinson, there is a theory that hormonal imbalances increasing during menopause may attribute to the glands not functioning. Women live longer than men making them prone to a plethora of eye conditions.

“It is known that fish oil, flax seed oil and omega 3 can help in dry eye,” he said.

Keep in mind these three facts and you will be on the road to avoiding eye injuries; men are more likely to become injured then women, there are about as many injuries at work as there are at home, and 40 percent or so of all out of work injuries are sport-related.