It’s Diabetic Eye Disease Month and Rand Eye is LOOKING out for you. DYK that diabetes is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the United States and the most common cause of blindness in people younger than age 65?
It doesn’t have to be that way if you know your Rand EYE-Q. There is a test commonly known as “A Report Card for Diabetes Control” called The Hemoglobin A1C Test, an important test that measures your blood sugar intake levels providing your true average.
The Hemoglobin A1C Test can tell you just how well you’re controlling your diabetes. By keeping your diabetes under tight control, you can significantly reduce the risk of losing your vision to diabetic eye disease. Think of the hemoglobin A1C test as if it were averaging all of your blood sugar readings from the previous three months. You should have the test three to four times a year so that you can monitor and modify your diabetes management plan.
Your Hemoglobin A1C Test reading should be 7.0 or less. Hemoglobin A1C readings above 8.0 are not as good. When the readings are 9.0-12.0 or above, the risk and severity of diabetic complications increases proportionately.
Don’t become a statistic. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 86-million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes and 9 out of 10 of them don’t even know they have it. Without working to prevent it, 15-30% of will develop type-2 diabetes within a year, which could lead to permanent vision loss. Diabetes can also increase the risk of cataracts and glaucoma, so do your best to feel your best. In our next blog, we’ll share the facts on diabetic retinopathy. #RandEYE-Q #diabetes #diabetesawarenessmonth
November is designated as Diabetic Eye Disease Month and if you have diabetes or are newly diagnosed; know that you’re at risk of vision loss. What is the cause and who is most at-risk? Let’s take a look at these important facts and outline ways for you to keep from becoming a statistic.
Diabetes Could Lead to Vision Loss
Diabetes is a disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body. Unfortunately, diabetic damage in the eye, also known as diabetic retinopathy, leads to vision loss when these blood vessels leak fluid or bleed. There is laser treatment that can help control the swelling or growth of abnormal blood vessels, and another treatment that involves injections either in or around the eye. It is recommended that you see your eye care specialist to help you decide which treatment is right for you.
Who is most at risk?
African Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Hispanic/Latinos and older adults with diabetes are at an especially higher risk of developing diabetic eye disease.
How will EYE know?
Be proactive when it comes to your vision by scheduling a comprehensive dilated eye exam, performed by an ophthalmologist at least once or year. Early detection and timely treatment are extremely important in preventing vision loss to those highly at risk. Diet and exercise also play an important role in the overall health of those with diabetes.
Beat Diabetes by Doing This
If you are diabetic, be sure to monitor and control your blood sugar, it’s the most effective way to avoid damage and loss of vision as well as damage to the rest of your body. A hemoglobin A1C test will assist you and your physician in keeping a report card on your blood sugar control. Read more about this in our next blog.
Nothing says, “Welcome to Fall” like the orange glow of a pumpkin patch. Time to pick out a healthy, robust pumpkin for your Fall Halloween decorations, and carve out some fun by adding your own decorative design to his mesmerizing mug.
Have fun with your pumpkin this Halloween, but please observe these Halloween Safety Tips first before carving ol’ Jack, courtesy of Rand Eye Institute and The American Academy of Pediatrics.
While carving the pumpkin is a fun family activity that has so many layers, (design, baking pumpkin seeds, carving and construction), remember, small children should never carve pumpkins, let the adults do that. Children can draw his face with markers, or using a paper template, have them suggest where to poke the holes through the paper, so an adult can do the carving.
Consider using a flashlight or glow stick, instead of a real candle to light the inside of the pumpkin. Try using a small battery-operated LED candle, they’re inexpensive, reusable, come in a variety of colors and they flicker just like real candles. A candle left unattended is not only dangerous, but the heat from the candle melts the pumpkin prematurely, no one likes a floppy pumpkin.
So in the 35-year tradition of Rand Eye Vision safety-first tips, use your Rand EYE-Q this Halloween to keep your little ghosts, ghouls and goblins safe!
Happy Halloween: Dressing you up with helpful suggestions and important safety tips relating to your child’s vision, from; Rand Eye Institute and The American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Halloween we remember as kids is long gone. Today, in this all-consuming world of multi-tasking, mobile electronics and Pokémon chasing, our kids need to be especially vigilant and aware of their surroundings during Halloween. It’s also up to us as parents to make sure that the trick-or-treaters get only treats. So with that in mind, here are some helpful Halloween tips for kids of all ages:
I’m Happy to See You
Masks can block or restrict your child’s vision, consider non-toxic makeup instead. Coming up with an original idea for makeup is a great way to engage your child about the creation of their own costume while helping them to be safer outside.
Lenses and Safety Senses
When it comes to vision, never allow the wearing of decorative contact lenses; colored contacts should always be prescribed by your eye doctor. Obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal and may cause eye infections and/or serious eye problems, leading to permanent vision loss.
Dress Up for Safety
Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Always add reflective tape or striping to costumes, a flashing necklace or light, and don’t assume all costumes have to be dark. Creating light and reflection alerts an approaching vehicle to slow down for trick-or-treaters. When shopping for costumes and accessories, always look for a label clearly indicating that they are flame resistant. Also, make sure shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping or getting caught or entangled.
No Cane Do
Be careful of too many accessories like a cane, a sword or a stick. If your child has one, make sure it’s not sharp or too long. Your child could be hurt if they stumble or trip, and they should be using their free hand to hold a working flashlight that has fresh batteries inside.
Be The King of The Mall
And lastly, Trick or Treating doesn’t have to be in the neighborhood. Check with your local shopping mall, many offer safe and well-lit trick-or-treat-streets inside the mall, or consider hosting a Halloween party for the kids at your house.
So use your Eye-Q and have a safe and Happy Halloween from all of us, at Rand Eye Institute.
See the Good Things We Do, With Your Own Eyes® – On World Sight Day
Thursday October 13th is World Sight Day, but why wait for one day out of 365 to look out for your vision when you can do it everyday? Let’s get out and take an active role towards the care and prevention of eye diseases. Your eyes need to be at the top of your list when it comes to your health and how it affects your lifestyle that’s why this year’s theme is Universal Eye Health.
World Sight Day (WSD), an international day of awareness, focuses attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment.
Know Your Rand Eye-Q:
- 4 out of 5 blind people are needlessly impaired, that means 80% of blindness is avoidable.
- About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Preventable causes are as high as 80% of the total global visual impairment burden.
- 90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries.
Don’t Become a Statistic. Keep Your Vision in Check
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have a baseline eye exam at age 40 to help identify signs of eye disease at an early age. If you’re 65 or older, you should have your eyes checked every year or two for signs of the eye-related diseases.
Click Below to Schedule Your Eye Exam Today
Take the first step to clear vision at Rand Eye Institute.
Nothing says, “Welcome to Fall” like the glow of a bright orange pumpkin patch: Jack-o-lanterns lined up as far as the EYE can see! Pick out a nice, healthy and robust pumpkin for your Fall Halloween decorations then carve out some family fun by adding your own decorative design to his mug.
There’s lots to keep an EYE on this month, including the little ones, who’ll be trick-or-treating on Monday Oct. 31st. We’ll have our Halloween Safety Tips for you later this month. Please read them, print them out and share them with your neighbors, because VISION plays the biggest role in the safety of all of our children.
Savor Super Sight 365 Days a Year
We’ll be recognizing World Sight Day on October 13th, but at Rand Eye Institute, we remind you that it’s important to have good vision the other 364 days of the year too, so why not set aside time to have a complete vision screening?
If you have cataracts, consider that cataract surgery can help you to live longer. A recent study by The American Academy of Ophthalmology of 1.5 million patients over a 10-year period, found that nearly 30% had a reduced adjusted hazard of mortality, compared with those who did NOT have cataract surgery. That says, in a nutshell, that having cataract surgery can help you to live a longer, more fulfilling life.
Why is that? Cataract surgery improves the patient’s ability to care for themselves. Through better vision, they remain physically and socially active, interact more with friends and family and have an overall better visual experience. You don’t have to live with cataracts, especially when the FDA has approved laser cataract surgery as safe and effective, and it’s here NOW at The Rand Eye Institute. Click here to schedule your evaluation.
All this vision knowledge we share with you, will help you up your Rand EYE-Q, so that you can have a safe and happy fall season.
Ah, Fall is here! Soon the rain will let up, cooler weather will prevail, the sun will set earlier and holiday decorations will adorn homes and department stores alike. With great vision, you’ll be able to experience the colors and sparkle of the Holidays to come.
As we wrap up September’s Healthy Aging Month, here are some tips to help your vision FALL in line too:
First, find out where your vision stands by scheduling a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The dilated exam differs from the basic eye exam you may have had for glasses or contacts. With a dilated eye exam, the doctor is able to examine the inside of your eyes to detect the early stages of eye disease before vision loss occurs.
Your doctor will be looking for:
- Age-related macular degeneration, which affects the macula, where sharp, central vision is born.
- Cataracts, a clouding of the lens in the eye.
- And Diabetic Retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels in the retina in the back of the eye.
Spotting these vision issues early is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you are 40-64 years old, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every 2-4 years, if you are 65 or older, every 1-2 years. Anyone with symptoms of eye trouble should see an eye doctor right away.
Fall Into THESE Healthy Habits
Which of these two food choices is best for your vision?
The answer, of course, is “A”. Grapes, along with other foods that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, such as kale, spinach, squash, corn and kiwi, contain potent antioxidants that can be beneficial to your eye health in helping prevent eye diseases like macular degeneration.
Foods loaded with vitamin C are also beneficial in helping ward off cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in the world. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. The fluid inside the eyeball is normally high in a compound similar to vitamin C, which helps prevent oxidation that results in a clouded lens. Scientists believe more vitamin C in the diet may increase the amount present around the lens, providing extra protection.
Choose whole grains and cereals. They contain fiber, which slows down digestion and the absorption of sugars and starches, while sugars and refined white flours may increase your risk of age-related eye diseases.
Healthy Fat may sound like an oxymoron but it can help prevent dry eyes
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can help the function of the meibomian oil glands in the eyelids, which creates a layer of oil floating on the tear film, which reduces the evaporation rate. Omega-3’s are found in fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts and canola oil.
Stop smoking. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. It increases your risk for age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and other eye diseases and conditions that can damage the optic nerve. Stopping isn’t easy, but it’s well worth it.
Wear a hat and sunglasses outdoors. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 % of UV-A and UV-B radiation. This simple step, along with proper hydration, including water, vegetable and fruit juices are beneficial for your overall health and eye health.
The phrase “See you in September” has special meaning for us. Of course we’re happy to see you all year long, but September is designated as Healthy Aging Month, so here are some ways to keep your eyes healthy, so that we can see you every month of the year.
Move or Lose (Sight of) It
Probably THE most helpful tip to healthy aging is staying healthy. While we know that keeping your body moving is good for your physical wellbeing, it’s also good for your vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reveals that regular exercise helps keep our weight in the normal range, reducing the risk of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. This includes gentler exercise like walking, yoga, tai chi, stretching and breathing. So come on feet, start walkin’.
The Best Veggies for Best Vision
Eating your vegetables, especially carrots, is not just a fable; they really do contribute to healthy vision. The vitamins in carrots and other brightly colored vegetables help keep your eyes healthy and your vision strong with the antioxidants they provide. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two potent antioxidants that studies have shown can help prevent eye diseases like macular degeneration. So it turns out mom was right all along.
Stay Focused on Eye Health
As you age, be aware of the warning signs of age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss. Since many eye diseases have no early symptoms, you may not notice the changes to your vision until the condition is quite advanced. While you may realize that although glucose is an important source of energy for the body’s cells, TOO MUCH glucose in the blood can cause damage to many parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, blood vessels and the small blood vessels in the eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology shows how this could lead to Diabetic Retinopathy. Regular eye exams offer early detection of disease and can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye-health as you age.
Give a Little & Get More Back
It feels good to give and it’s good for you. Volunteering can take on many forms, such as teaching, nursing or childcare. Consider supporting a local symphony by ticket taking at the door, helping your church or synagogue at an event, singing in the choir, answering phones at a non-profit or mentoring someone. What does this have to do with healthy vision? Research shows that volunteering also contributes to good health. The results of more than 30 studies show that older people who volunteer enjoy longer lives, function at a higher level and have lower rates of depression and heart disease. So whatever cause gets YOUR blood pumping, it’s the cause to an effect: better overall health and that means healthier eyes too.
It’s Healthy Aging Month, and because your future is so bright-here are some Rand EYE-deas and tips to keep your mind healthy too.
Of course, exercise fires up endorphins, which stimulate your mind, but exercising your intellectual skills, works out the muscles in your brain to keep them firing on all cylinders too.
You Have Built-in Windows
Since your eyes are the windows to the world, expand your mind, pick up a crossword puzzle, do a brain-teaser or watch Jeopardy (we seem to know every answer when we watch at home, LOL). If you look online, you’ll “discover” websites that offer free puzzles, some you can create and print yourself. Consider making a puzzle using the memories of your life and then testing a family member or friend.
The Eyes Have It
Other eye-popping ways to keep a healthy mind might be to engage in a hobby that gives you the chance to use steady hand-eye coordination, like building a model or painting. Here’s another Eye-dea: Look for an inexpensive digital camera. Start shooting. You might become the next Iconic photographer. Remember, digital photographs are free of developing fees and are easy to share on social media.
You can always get one-up on your health by making a spiritual connection to your inner self. Take a yoga class or try meditation. You’ll see yourself in many new ways you’ve never imagined. Breathe, exhale and find your focal point.
Healthy Aging Month is all about expanding your sense of purpose and giving more meaning to your days ahead. Let our eyes and mind connect to a healthier you!
Next time, we’ll talk about some fun ways to stay healthy with friends and family.
Go Team, Go! Back to School!
It’s time to welcome the kids back to school and Rand Eye Institute is on your team with information during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. There are an estimated 42,000 sports-related eye injuries each year and the majority of them happen to children.
We all remember being a kid. The excitement of after-school sports and heading outside of the classroom can seem so urgent and important to an active child. Of course it is, but please be sure that your children don’t hit the field, court, diamond or swimming pool without proper eye protection. It really makes a difference.
Because eye injuries are one of the leading causes of vision loss in children, make sure your children always:
- Wear protective eyewear while participating in sports and recreational activities.
- Play with age-appropriate toys. Make sure your children avoid toys with sharp protruding parts or any flying or broken pieces that could end up in their eyes. If they’re carrying sharp objects, always point them to the ground.
- Wear approved goggles when swimming, even in pools. Chlorine helps reduce water-borne bacteria and viruses, but can also wash away the tear film that acts as a defensive shield for the cornea, leaving swimmers prone to eye infections.
Remember, your children learn from good examples. When you as parents also take precautions to protect YOUR eyes, you’ll SEE the impression it makes on your children.
Count on Rand Eye Institute to give you important facts and reminders about your child’s eye health and safety, especially when it comes to protecting their eyes this back to school season.