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Carolinas HealthCare System
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Title
May Is Healthy Vision Month! Keeping Your Peepers at Their Peak
Date
05/12/2015
Article

Need an Eye Exam?

Call 704-446-9270
for an appointment.

Doctor Spotlight

Galen Grayson, MD

Galen Grayson, MD

Specialty: Ophthalmology

Carolinas HealthCare System
Ophthalmology Care

817 E. Morehead St., Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28202

Medical School
Harvard Medical School

Residency
University of Southern California Medical Center

Board Certified
Ophthalmology

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.

Tips for Avoiding Eye Strain

Get a comprehensive eye exam.

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.

Minimize glare.

Consider installing an anti-glare cover on your monitor. If you wear glasses, purchase lenses with what’s called an anti-reflective coating.

Adjust your computer display settings.
  • Brightness: Adjust the brightness so it's about the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation.
  • Text size and contrast: For most people, black print on a white background is the best combination for eye comfort.
  • Color temperature: Reducing the color temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted, which tends to cause more eye strain than orange and red hues.

Note: In Microsoft Windows, display settings can be adjusted in the Control Panel. On Apple, find display settings in Systems Preferences.

Take frequent breaks.

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.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

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.

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