MedWatch Today: Taking Care of Your Eyes

Med Watch Today

Taking care of our eyes is just as important as any other part of our body. Some eye diseases can lead to vision loss, so it’s crucial to identify and treat eye diseases as early as possible.

When Dr. Samuel Hinton, who is an ophthalmologist, sees his patients at EYE-Q Vision Care in Fresno. He reminds them their eyes are an important part of their health. Many eye problems and diseases can be treated if caught early.

“The main symptom that we’re worried about when we’re talking about urgent or emergent issues is loss of vision,” said Dr. Hinton.

He said if someone cannot see street signs or see clearly enough that it’s hindering their every day activities, they should see their doctor right away. Dr. Hinton said signs of blurred vision could be:

The doctor added, “Cataracts, retinol detachment, glaucoma, infection, bleeding, diabetes, it’s a very general symptom that applies to many many diseases.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking care of your eyes also may benefit your overall health. People with vision problems are more likely than those with good vision to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and stroke, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression.

“The most common thing that gets a same day appointment into our office is new flashes, so it’s a very common thing to happen, people get little flashes of light like a little meteor shower… Most of the time, that’s just a vitreous detachment. It’s the gel in the back of the eye that has detached, usually happens to us where we’re getting older or because we had some mild trauma,” said Dr. Hinton.

Posterior vitreous detachment can cause retinal detachment and can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated. Do not wait, Dr. Hinton said, to see your doctor if any vision changes occur.

He added, “You wanna get an eye exam at least every two to three years, sooner if you’re having any problems.”

Children should get an eye exam before they start kindergarten. There are things you can do to help keep your eyes healthy and make sure you’re seeing your best: Wear sunglasses as sun exposure can damage your eyes, wear protective eye wear to prevent eye injuries, and avoid smoking. If you wear contacts, take steps to prevent eye infections, and give your eyes a rest if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer. For every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow the eyes a chance to refocus.

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