Patient Education Handouts 

Healthy vision comes from healthy eyes and a healthy body.

More Online Patient Education Resources

The Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) nonprofit organization has excellent educational resources at their website under "RPB Vision Resources."  Numerous scientific studies sponsored by RPB stress the importance of nutrition and lifestyle choices in promoting eye health. For example, the use of sunglasses, the avoidance of smoking, the maintenance of a healthy diet, and the adherence to regular exercise significantly lowers the severity or rate of progression of a vision affliction.  

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has also created a website called EyeSmart that contains expert information on many different eye health topics and diseases.

Although avoidance of sun exposure was felt to be important for eye health and the prevention of skin cancer, it is important to get exposure of at least 11 hours per week of 1,000 lux or more to reduce the chance of myopic progression by over 50%.  With regards to diet, a Mediterranean diet has been shown to be more than twice as important in reducing macular degeneration risk compared to vitamin supplementation alone.

For those contemplating cataract surgery, we highly recommend the patient education websites cataractsurgery.com and eyesurgeryeducation.com.  There are also very nice IOL vision simulators from Alcon and Johnson & Johnson Vision to help in understanding your choices on IOL implants.

For those seeking information on macular degeneration, Bausch and Lomb has helped to create the website "sightmatters.com"

 

Eye Care Facts and Myths


Myth

  1. It is not harmful to watch a welder or look at the sun if you squint, or look through narrowed eyelids.

  2. Using a computer, or video display terminal (VDT), is harmful to the eyes.

  3. If you use your eyes too much, you wear them out.  

  4. Wearing poorly-fit glasses damages your eyes.

  5. Wearing poorly-fit contacts does not harm your eyes.

  6. You do not need to have your eyes checked until you are in your 40s or 50s.

  7. Safety goggles are more trouble than they're worth.

  8. It's okay to swim while wearing soft contact lenses.

  9. Children outgrow crossed eyes.

  10. A cataract must be ripe before it can be removed.

  11. Cataracts can be removed with lasers.

  12. Eyes can be transplanted.

  13. All eye care providers are the same.

 

Fact

  1. Even if you squint, ultra-violet light still gets to your eyes, damaging the cornea, lens and retina. Never watch welding without wearing the proper protection. Never look directly at an eclipse.

  2. Although using a VDT is associated with eyestrain or fatigue, it is not directly harmful to the eyes. However, prolonged computer use can induce eyestrain that can give you a headache or potentially even cause a worsening of refractive error.

  3. You can use your eyes as much as you wish - they do not wear out.

  4. Although a good glasses fit is required for good vision, a poor fit does not damage your eyes.

  5. Poorly fit contact lenses can be harmful to your cornea (the window at the front of your eye). Make certain your eyes are checked regularly by your ophthalmologist if you wear contact lenses.

  6. There are several asymptomatic, yet treatable, eye diseases (most notably glaucoma) that can begin prior to your 40s.

  7. Safety goggles prevent many potentially blinding injuries every year. Keep goggles handy and use them!

  8. Potentially blinding eye infections can result from swimming or using a hot tub while wearing contact lenses.

  9. Children do not outgrow truly crossed eyes. A child whose eyes are misaligned has strabismus and can develop poor vision in one eye (a condition known as amblyopia) because the brain turns off the misaligned or “lazy” eye. The sooner crossed or misaligned eyes are treated, the less likely the child will have permanently impaired vision.

  10. With modern cataract surgery, a cataract does not have to ripen before it is removed. When a cataract keeps you from doing the things you like or need to do, consider having it removed.

  11. Cataracts cannot be removed with a laser. The cloudy lens must be removed through a surgical incision. However, after cataract surgery, a membrane within the eye may become cloudy. This membrane can be opened with laser surgery.

  12. The eye cannot be transplanted. It is connected to the brain by the optic nerve, which cannot be reconnected once it has been severed. The cornea-the clear front part of the eye-can be transplanted. Surgeons often use plastic intraocular lens implants (IOL's) to replace natural lenses removed during cataract surgery.

  13. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.), uniquely trained to diagnose and treat all disorders of the eye. An ophthalmologist is qualified to perform surgery, prescribe and adjust eyeglasses and contact lenses, and prescribe medication. An optometrist (O.D.) is not a medical doctor, but is specially trained to diagnose eye abnormalities, and prescribe, supply and adjust eyeglasses and contact lenses. In most states, optometrists can use drugs to treat certain eye disorders. 

    An optician fits, supplies, and adjusts eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optician cannot examine the eyes or prescribe eyeglasses or medication. Both Dr David Chia and Dr LiLi Chia are ophthalmologists who have finished medical school and have completed a surgical residency in eye surgery.

 

How to reduce Computer Vision Syndrome

  • Deliberately look away from the computer screen from time to time (this forces the eye to blink)

  • Lower the computer monitor below eye level (more of the cornea is covered when you look down)

  • Take breaks from computer work

    • Anything that makes you concentration, from watching movies to driving, decreases your blink rate and causes dry eye

    • "20/20 rule" = 20 minutes of close up, 20 seconds of rest)

  • Use artificial tears

    • Use artificial tears as you would use skin moisturizer for your hands

    • You may use artificial tears that contain a preservative up to four times a day

    • You may use preservative-free artificial tears as often as needed

    • If using basic lubricating eye drops is not sufficient, then consider a product that is more moisturizing or more like an eye lotion 

  • Consider the role of lighting and ventilation

    • Gauge ambient lighting and avoid direct light exposure

    • Add anti-glare to spectacles, monitor filters

    • Close air vents that blow in the direction of the face

  • Add omega-3 fatty acid supplementation

    • Remember, adding more water to a cookie recipe doesn't make it moist, but adding more oil/butter does!

    • Notable sources include fish oil (EPA & DHA), flaxseed oil (ALA), and chia seed (ALA)

    • The FDA recommends that total dietary intake of ω−3 fatty acids from fish not exceed 3 grams per day, of which no more than 2 grams per day are from nutritional supplements

 

FUN TRIVIA: Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a plant of the genus Salvia in the Mint family. Chia seed is the vegetable source with the most Omega 3 content, specifically α-linolenic acid or ALA. The word chia is derived from the Aztec word chian, meaning oily.

  • Omega-3s are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids which have in common a carbon-carbon double bond in the ω−3 position.

  • As macronutrients, fats are not assigned recommended daily allowances

  • Important nutritionally essential ω−3 fatty acids are: α-linolenic acid (18:3, ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5, EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6, DHA)

  • [note: our physicians have no financial interest in omega-3s, only patient interests in mind.]

VISIT US

Irvine Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.

15785 Laguna Canyon Road Ste 300

Irvine, CA 92618

Office Hours Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm

CONTACT

Tel:  (949) 753-1163

Fax: (949) 753-1949

Email: info@drchia.com

Or to Schedule an Appointment Online:

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