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The Importance of Early Eye Disease Diagnosis


We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. Even though you want to look great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for full coverage for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent UV waves from entering from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that the sun's rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be especially careful to keep your eyes shaded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Make a point to be knowledgeable about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.

For those of us blessed with eyes that are in good condition, we sometimes forget about the importance of a routine eye exam. However, timely diagnosis of any eye or vision problems is crucial to maintaining healthy vision and eyes. And all it requires is a yearly eye test.

Numerous eye and vision ailments have no apparent warning signs. Consequently, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Call to schedule a complete optical exam at our Olathe, KS office, where our highly-trained optometry team provides service suited to the needs of each patient. Our Olathe office employs cutting-edge equipment to provide you with a thorough examination.

Unfortunately, more than three million Americans have glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness but only half of them realize this. Glaucoma is often called ''the sneak thief of sight'' because it can strike absent of forewarning. Nearly two-thirds of adult Americans don't use visual aids and don't schedule regular eye exams, therefore leaving their eyes at great risk.

Findings show that many Americans are uneducated about the actual severity of glaucoma. In a recent poll, the American Optometric Association found that well over half of Americans think glaucoma is preventable. In reality the sight-stealing disease cannot be prevented, while it can be treated if recognized close to the onset of the disease, making early detection much more crucial. Early detection and treatment are also necessary for thwarting the devastating symptoms of diseases including macular degeneration or cataracts.

Routine eye examinations to screen for eye and vision problems should be a priority. Be sure to schedule regular eye exams with your local optometrist to keep up your vision and eye health for many long years.