Patients who get their eyes checked are generally asked to perform a few different vision tests. These tests allow an eye doctor to examine the functioning of a person’s eyes and determine whether further corrective action needs to be taken. One such test is the visual acuity test. This common test measures the details a person can see at both near and far distances. Usually, a patient is asked to read a series of letters or numbers in varying sizes. Each eye is tested individually so the doctor can note any differences or weaknesses. Another common test is the visual field test, in which patients’ eyes are also tested individually. In this test, the person is instructed to look forward while indicating whether they can perceive lights or objects in their peripheral vision.
The visual field test is helpful because it maps a person’s entire field of vision and can detect conditions like glaucoma. A third common test is known as refraction. This test measures refractive error and can indicate a person’s need for corrective lenses. Refraction is helpful for identifying both farsightedness and nearsightedness. Finally, eye doctors typically conduct a color vision test to measure a person’s ability to distinguish colors. This test can detect variations of color blindness and is usually performed by symbols made up of colored dot patterns. People who have trouble distinguishing certain colors will not be able to perceive the imbedded symbols, thereby indicating possible color blindness.
People often think about the dentist as a professional that deals with teeth. In reality, however, dentists are concerned with the entire mouth – including your tongue. For this reason, he or she may talk to you about the appearance of your tongue and why your tongue affects your overall health. One of the biggest problems people experience with their tongue is having it be sore and bumpy. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there are several causes of a sore tongue, including trauma, canker sores, smoking, and oral cancer.
The most obvious cause, trauma, can be a result of biting your tongue or burning it on something that’s too hot. When this happens, the tongue may continue to be sore until the injury heals. Smoking, however, is a more permanent habit that causes damage through irritation; people who smoke frequently may find that their tongue feels unpleasant. Canker sores – or mouth ulcers – can also cause temporary pain and bumps on your tongue. No one knows what causes these sores, but stress is thought to be a trigger. Finally, although not common, sores/bumps that do not go away after a couple weeks could be a sign of oral cancer. Talk to your dentist about any tongue abnormalities you notice so you can get started on a treatment plan if necessary. By taking care of your tongue, you can improve your overall health.
You are probably aware of the seriousness of glaucoma, but did you know that it is possible to have an elevated level of pressure in the eye without any symptoms? Ocular hypertension refers to the increase in pressure in an eye that is above normal, yet not high enough to cause detectable damage. This means that people with hypertension do not have glaucoma, but they are at higher risk for developing this degenerative disease. According to the American Optometric Association, ocular hypertension is most common in African Americans, people over the age of 40, and those with family histories of glaucoma and/or ocular hypertension.
In addition, people who have diabetes or are extremely nearsighted are at increased risk, as well. Although there are no outward signs of hypertension, eye doctors can check the pressure in patients’ eyes with a tonometry test. It is important to visit your optometrist regularly so he or she can continue to monitor the pressure in your eye and recommend treatment when necessary. In many cases, being vigilant can prevent you from developing a far more serious condition, like glaucoma.
We all know that eating a lot of sugar can have negative effects on our physical health. It can cause weight gain, energy swings and a weakened immune system. But what effects does sugar have on your oral health? According to the American Dental Association, when bacteria/plaque comes into contact with sugar in a person’s mouth, the acid that gets produced can damage teeth for 20 minutes or longer. Over time, this damage results in tooth decay. In addition, foods that are high in sugar are often filled with empty calories and lack other nutrients that are good for your health. These sugary foods can lead to poor nutrition, which the American Dental Association suggests can lead to faster progression of gum disease.
Dietary habits are often developed in childhood, so it’s especially important for adults to teach their kids to eat healthily and get plenty of fruits, vegetables and calcium from a young age. Other precautionary steps include drinking a lot of water, limiting snacks in between meals, brushing twice a day, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly. It may also help to keep track of all the food you eat so you can chart your progress and notice patterns of sugary food consumption. Talk to your dentist about your eating habits and develop a plan to cut back on sugar-filled foods. It’s a commitment that will benefit your body and your teeth!
Parents know that cheese is a good source of calcium. The calcium found in cheese helps kids build strong bones and teeth and promotes overall health. But recent research shows that cheese may be even healthier than previously thought, particularly when it comes to children’s oral health. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, cheese helps fight cavities because it stimulates the mouth’s salivary glands. By activating these glands, cheese encourages the body to naturally protect its teeth from harmful acids and to carry away extra food particles.
The calcium and phosphorus in cheese also helps protect the enamel of teeth. As a result, AAPD suggests that parents encourage their kids to eat cheese as a snack or at the end of a meal to help prevent cavities from forming. This can be easily accomplished by giving them a stick of string cheese or a small handful of shredded cheese. Swiss, cheddar and mozzarella are all great choices. Ask your True Dental Discounts pediatric dentist for more information about this creative and delicious way to set your kids up for a lifetime of good oral health.