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for an appointment.
Carolinas HealthCare System
817 E. Morehead St., Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28202
Harvard Medical School
University of Southern California Medical Center
Much of the advice you get from your physician – maintain your weight, don’t smoke, be active – is key to eye health. But with the amount of screen time we subject our eyes to, there are other things you want to keep your, um, eye on to stay well.
“It’s easy to remember to get a physical exam every year,” said Richard Smits, MD, from Cabarrus Family Medicine-Concord, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “But not many people remember to get an eye exam, which is just as important.”
Considering the average American spends nine hours in front of a cell phone, tablet, computer or television screen every day, the health of our eyes should be top of mind. The reason? According to the nonprofit Vision Council, all that screen time is causing eye strain and other vision problems.
Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. Your eyes also benefit from comprehensive exams, especially a dilated eye exam where drops are placed in your eyes to widen the pupils. This allows the optometrist or ophthalmologist to examine the retina and check for damage.
Consider installing an anti-glare cover on your monitor. If you wear glasses, purchase lenses with what’s called an anti-reflective coating.
Note: In Microsoft Windows, display settings can be adjusted in the Control Panel. On Apple, find display settings in Systems Preferences.
Shift your focus from near to far on a regular basis. Make a point to look at something across the room or out the window every 30 minutes.
Regular eye exams are an important part of managing diabetes. People with diabetes are more susceptible to eye problems, and almost half of Americans with the disease have some stage of diabetic retinopathy– a condition caused by damage to the retina’s blood vessels.
“Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults with diabetes,” said Galen Grayson, MD, of Carolinas HealthCare System Ophthalmology Care. “But getting regular eye exams can help you and your doctor protect your eyes. If you have diabetes, you should see your eye doctor every year to get a dilated eye exam or digital retinal imaging test. If you already have retinopathy, your eye doctor will see you more frequently. Depending on the severity, laser treatment or other surgery might be needed. While diabetes doesn’t necessarily lead to poor vision, dilated eye exams can go a long way in helping to prevent eye complications.”
For help keeping your eyes healthy, call 704-446-9270 to schedule an appointment with Carolinas HealthCare System Ophthalmology Care.