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Dealing with Digital Eye Strain

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Digital devices such as computers, cell phones, and tablets create both solutions and problems.

Society as a whole spends more and more time in front of digital devices for work, school, and play. We do everything from spreadsheets, to shopping, to socializing online. You name it: cell phones, personal computers, laptops, e-readers, iPads, and other digital devices allow us to connect to friends and family, but at what cost to our health? All that screen time is hard on your eyes and may lead to digital eye strain — even if you have perfect vision.

Digital Eye Strain is becoming an epidemic for several reasons. First of all, heavy use of digital devices is hard work on our eye muscles. Our eyes were not designed to focus close up for prolonged periods. We are descendants of cavemen and cave women who needed to see clearly in the distance, more than close up, to hunt to provide for their families. Anything that you do for more than 2 hours a day, would usually fatigue the muscles used. For example, if you worked for a moving company, your arms, back and legs get tired at the end of the day, after riding a bike for 2+ hours, your legs would get tired, etc.

Our screen-rich culture can be blamed for digital eye strain. Your eyes have to work harder to focus on a computer screen for a prolonged period. Computers are far more visually demanding than printed material because the image on a monitor is never stable like the printed text in a book. Computer images composed of pixels of light are constantly refreshed, adding strain.

The main symptoms of Digital Eye Strain include:

  • Eyestrain/Tired Eyes
  • Frontal/temporal headaches
  • Dry Eyes (burning, red eyes, soreness)
  • Physical Fatigue
  • Blurry or vision that goes in and out of focus, especially at the end of the day

Ultimately this causes stress, discomfort and loss of productivity. The irony that you are reading this on a screen right now does not escape us, either. After you finish this blog, give those windows to your soul a break!

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Over time, the tears that aren’t spread over the eyes, stagnate and thicken. This clogs the opening of the Meibomian oily tear glands along the edge of the lids so that newly made tears get stuck in the tear glands. Eventually the clogged tear glands become infected, and atrophy which decreases the amount of tears that you can make. It can also make your eyes look unhealthy with red, thickened lids, and even loss of eye lashes.

We have a natural and unique way of treating dry eyes due to my holistic and integrative background. We can decrease your red, tired and dry eyes by unclogging tear glands open, and by stimulating natural tear production, naturally, without medication or surgery. We have helped many patients in our MoisturEyes Dry Eye Spa to feel and look better. We can help your eyes look less puffy and tired, and feel refreshed which will help you get your work done more comfortably and efficiently.

What other problems does heavy screen time cause?

Without a healthy layer of tears, vision goes in and out of focus, or stays blurry because the tears are necessary to form a smooth optical layer across the front of the eye. When the eyes are dry, vision gets blurry unless you blink more, or produce more tears.

Heavy screen time can also lead to eyestrain and headaches, not only because of dry eyes, but also because of an uncorrected prescription. Studies have shown that even a small amount of uncorrected prescription can lead to muscle eye strain as you compensate to see. A prescription that is measured for your eyes and the distance that you put your computer screen will lessen, or eliminate the eyestrain. Add a blue light filter to protect your eyes even further from the blue light that can lead to eye health problems such as macular degeneration, as well as interfere with sleep. This is the topic of another article which I have written as well.

You might experience a combination of these factors. To learn more about how your eyes can look and feel better after a long day at the office, as well as the ways we can help you with our specialized services, contact us today. At Hollywood Vision Center, Optometry, Inc. we can address the vision care needs of each unique patient, providing the following services under one roof:

  • Dry Eye Spa especially for heavy computer and cell phone users
  • Natural homeopathy, supplements, etc., as well as pharmaceutical medicines when necessary
  • Vision Therapy
  • Glasses, contact lenses, Ortho-K contact lenses
  • Holistic Optometry

We are dedicated to serving the vision care needs of our patients, providing vision care services for the entire family. We provide caring, Integrative and Holistic vision care services that combine VIP treatment with state of the art technology. If you suffer from digital eye strain call today to schedule your consultation with Hollywood Vision Center, Optometry, Inc at (323) 521-4770.


Your Eyes Affect Everything You Do

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You have the right cell phone, the right computer, the right outfit.

You work out, you eat right, but have you taken care of your eyes?

Your eyes affect almost every aspect of your life. Good vision allows you to be more productive, more comfortable, and happier. Correct visual skills allows you to read faster, catch the ball better, and do better in work and school. Vision allows you to see, to understand, to process, and to be. Less than perfect vision wastes precious energy by making you work harder, slows you down as your brain takes a split second to focus, and makes you miss precious moments in life that go unrealized because you didnt see well enough, or fast enough.

The problem is, vision changes so gradually that you cannot tell that your vision is slipping away until you have your eyes and health checked, your eye muscles rebalanced, your new glasses made, or your contact lens prescription updated. Theres no way for you to know if you have glaucoma or other eye disease that can rob you of your precious vision until it progresses to the point that you lose vision. Babies can have eye diseases, millennials can have eye diseases, and you can have an eye problem also, without even knowing it.

Your eyes are the window to your health. It is the only part of your body where we can see through to your blood vessels and nerves giving us the ability to detect health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. We have detected many health problems over the years in our patients during their annual eye exam.

Dont let life pass you by without having the best vision possible. Be your best by seeing your best.

Schedule an appointment for you and your family, and encourage your friends and co-workers to come in also.


Protect Your Eyes and Sleep From Blue Light from Computers and Cell Phones

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If you use computers, smart phones, tablets, or flat screen televisions for any significant amount of time each day, you are at risk from the harmful effects of blue light that these devices give off. Fluorescent light bulbs and LED bulbs also emit harmful blue light.

Blue light increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)which increases the chance of significant vision loss.

The negative effects of blue light emission are damaging not only to your vision, but also to your overall health. Harmful effects of prolonged use and exposure to blue light include:

  • Computer Vision Syndrome (eyestrain, headaches, blurry or fluctuating vision, fatigue, loss of productivity)
  • Disruption of sleep: blue light boosts attention during the day, but cumulative exposure sends a message to the brain to decrease melatonin production which disrupts our circadian rhythm which interferes with sleep.
  • Photo-oxidative damage to the retina in the back of the eye increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration which can lead to significant visual loss

Everyone is at risk for AMD with exposure to blue light, age, and cumulative sun damage (especially in sunny climates like Los Angeles). Obesity and hypertension also increase the risk for AMD.

Thankfully, you can now protect yourself with DuraVision BlueProtect by ZEISS: a special coating specifically designed to protect the eyes from the harmful effects of blue light emission. Other benefits of this protective filter include: superior anti-reflective properties compared to conventional anti-reflective coatings, and are easier to keep clean than other AR coatings. We can even make computer glasses with the protective filters even if you do not need a prescription, or already wear contact lenses.

If you have family members with AMD, your risk is increased significantly. We also offer DNA and allergy testing for macular degeneration and other health and allergy problems at our office.

Please call us if you have any questions, and to schedule your annual eye exam or appointment to have glasses made to protect you from blue light emission.


How Poor Eye Movement Can Interfere with Your Learning

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Can poor eye movement interfere with learning? A definitive yes, because poor eye movements can impair reading ability and cause a lack of concentration that may be incorrectly diagnosed as ADD or ADHD. After all, poor eye movements can often go hand in hand with eye teaming and focusing.

Saccades, a visual skill that allows for transitioning visual focus from one object to another, and tracking, which allows you to follow an object as it moves through space, are both necessary components of good eye movement. Lacking either, visual skills may be very debilitated, or at the least, cause children to overcompensate for their poor eye movement.

Children with poor eye movements can have difficulty tracking a ball in sports, or focusing on words when reading. Your eyes use saccades to focus on one or several words at a time. Poor saccades can increase reading difficulties, which can obviously greatly interfere with learning. Poor eye movement can also result in an inability to maintain eye contact or cause distractions during highly visual tasks.

But poor eye movement can be corrected. Developmental optometrists can help improve eye movement through vision therapy exercises, prescription lenses, and the use of syntonics – colored lights that adjust aspects of eye movements. Once corrected, learning capabilities increase.

Keep an Eye on Your Vision During May for Healthy Vision Month

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During the month of May we want to focus on healthy vision, which means we want to encourage you, your friends and family to make eye health a top priority this month. Healthy Vision Month is the perfect opportunity to learn more about your eye health, while also making sure you and your family understand the importance of regular comprehensive dilated eye exams in maintaining healthy vision.

At Hollywood Vision Center, we want to be your go-to optometrists in Los Angeles, which is why it is important to visit us this month to learn more about healthy vision. While it is important all year, our Los Angeles area optometrists want to place an extra emphasis on healthy vision during the month of May. Your eyes are windows to the world and it is important for you to learn how you can protect them.

What Should I do to Protect My Vision?

With May being Healthy Vision Month, we want to make sure you know what steps you can take to ensure you have healthy vision. To help you better understand your vision health, let’s take a look at 5 different ways you can protect yourself:

Get a dilated eye exam. By getting a dilated eye exam our Los Angeles optometrists will be able to catch eye diseases early, because with many diseases, there are no warning signs.

Live a healthy lifestyle. By living healthy, you can significantly lower your risk of eye disease, as an overall healthy life is good for your eyes. You can start taking steps toward healthy living by maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, not smoking and managing chronic conditions.

Know your family history. By understanding your family history, you can further protect yourself. While you may know that you get your eye color from your parents, did you also know that eye health could be hereditary, too? Talk to your family members about their eye healthy history today.

Use protective eyewear. While doing chores around the house, playing sports or on the job, it is important to keep your eyes protected. Talk to one of our optometrists in Los Angeles to learn more about how you can protect your eyes with protective eyewear.

Wear sunglasses. We all know that the sun’s rays are bad for our skin, but they are just as bad for our eyes. While sunglasses may look fashionable, they do a lot more than just look good. Sunglasses help to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Celebrate Healthy Vision Month by taking these steps today! At Hollywood Vision Center we want to make sure your eyes are healthy so that you can see well for a lifetime. And don’t forget to spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues. Schedule an appointment today with one of our Los Angeles eye doctors to take the next step toward optimal eye health this month and for a lifetime.

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