Eye exams can include many different vision tests that measure the health and functioning of your eyes. One of these tests is a retinal examination, which looks at the retina, optic disk, and blood vessels in the back of your eye. According to the Mayo Clinic, eye doctors may use one of three techniques to look at the back of your eye. First, however, he will likely need to dilate your pupils with eye drops that may give you a slight stinging sensation. After the drops are in place, he may conduct a direct examination, an indirect examination, or a slit-lamp examination. In a direct examination, a beam of light is shined through the pupil so that the doctor can view the back of the eye with an ophthalmoscope.
This exam may cause you to temporarily see afterimages once the light is gone. For an indirect examination, the patient usually lies down on a chair while the doctor shines a light strapped to his head into the patient’s eye. This technique allows the doctor to see the eye in three dimensions and is also likely to result in temporary afterimages. Finally, the slit-lamp examination has the ability to show the doctor the most detail about the back of the eye. In this exam, the doctor uses the slit lamp as well as a condensing or contact lens. Each of these three exams takes only about five to 10 minutes, but depending on the use of eye drops, your vision will likely be blurry for several hours. Before your appointment at your vision plan doctor, ask someone to drive you home and make any necessary arrangements at work.
Many people who get a prescription from their doctor don’t think twice before adding it to their daily routine. They might glance at the dosage, but never give a second thought to what other factors go into a good prescription. Yet, there are many personal habits and health concerns that must be addressed before committing to a particular type of medicine. The National Council on Patient Information and Education suggests that you maintain regular communication with your doctor or pharmacist about the following issues:
- Any ongoing or past medical conditions, and the overseeing doctor;
- The names of all medicines you are currently taking, including sleeping aids, laxatives, vitamins, herbal remedies, pain relievers, and both prescription and non-prescription medicines;
- Any problems you’ve experienced with certain types of medications;
- Any known allergies to medicines or substances;
- If you are, or could become, pregnant.
Each of these items represents an important part of your prescription health, and having open communication with your health care professional can help to ensure that you do not take a potentially harmful medication. Many people do not realize that their small day-to-day habits and their “non-medications” such as dietary supplements can impact the effectiveness of any new medication. Be sure to talk about these issues with your doctor, and, as always, show him or her your True care discount card to guarantee you’re getting the best prescriptions for your money.
There may be another reason to look forward to Thanksgiving this year. According to a study done by Dr. Hyun Koo at the University of Rochester, drinking cranberry juice, a popular Thanksgiving beverage, can help you prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth. This means that you will essentially be protecting yourself from plaque build-up that causes cavities and gum disease. In his study, Koo found that a beverage containing 25 percent cranberry juice was able to stop bacteria from attaching to the surface of a tooth by 67 to 85 percent. Apparently, cranberry juice “disarms” the pathogens that cause decay in a person’s tooth. This oral health benefit adds to the long list of other advantages people experience from consuming cranberry juice, including preventing urinary tract infections and protecting the heart from cardiovascular disease.
However, be aware that these findings were only in regard to cranberry juice itself. Because of its high levels of sugar, the cranberry sauce you enjoy on Thanksgiving is actually unhealthy for your teeth! It’s important to consult your dentist if you have any concerns about tooth-healthy foods or beverages, including cranberries. Together with the help of your dentist and a boost from the cranberry juice, you can be on your way to a great smile this Thanksgiving season.
As a woman, it can be challenging to wear contact lenses safely, especially when it comes to applying makeup. Mascara flecks can stain lenses, hand creams can leave a film on the contacts, and perfume can damage the plastic of the lenses. But don’t worry; it is possible to still perform your full makeup routine without ruining your lenses. The American Optometric Association suggests the following tips to balance the two routines more comfortably:
- If you have soft contact lenses, put them in before applying makeup.
- If you have rigid gas-permeable lenses, put them in after applying makeup.
- Always remove contact lenses before removing makeup.
- Avoid lash-extending mascara. It has fibers that irritate the eyes.
- Avoid waterproof mascara. Its nature makes it difficult to remove with water, allowing it to stain the lenses.
- Use hand lotion after putting contact lenses in. The lotion residue can leave a film on your lenses.
- Use hair spray before putting contact lenses in. If you must spray with contacts in, be sure to close your eyes while spraying and also for a few seconds afterward to avoid getting any particles in your eyes.
- Be sure to blink your eyes often while blow drying your hair. Otherwise, the hot air will cause your eyes to dry out quickly.
- Choose water-based, hypoallergenic liquid foundations. Other types of foundations, particularly cream varieties, tend to leave a film on contact lenses.
It is always wise to bring up any concerns you may have with an optometrist on your True Care Advantage plan, especially if you are new to wearing contacts. With just a few tweaks to your routine, you can continue looking great and seeing beautifully, too.
You might have grown up hearing that eating carrots is a good way to sharpen your vision, but research is showing another excellent way to boost your eye health: Vitamin C. According to the American Optometric Association, nearly all cells in the body rely on Vitamin C to stay healthy, particularly those in the eyes. Research shows that Vitamin C is critical to the health of ocular blood vessels and can reduce the risk of cataracts by more than 50 percent. In addition, studies show Vitamin C, when taken in combination with other nutrients, and can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness for people over 55. Unfortunately, the body does not produce Vitamin C on its own, so people need to make a conscious effort to get enough of this valuable antioxidant.
The FDA suggests that males need 90 mg/day, while females need 75 mg/day. To give you a frame of reference, one medium orange is approximately 70 mg. Other great sources of Vitamin C include fruits such as grapefruits, tomatoes, bananas, apples and peaches. The most concentrated doses of Vitamin C come from the juices of such fruits as oranges and grapefruits – one cup of orange juice has a whopping 124 mg! An optometrist on your True Dental Discounts dental plan can give you more detailed information about sharpening your vision with Vitamin C. It’s easy to integrate antioxidants like Vitamin C into your diet if you have a little help and encouragement, so be sure to ask about it at your next appointment.