It’s no secret that severely dry or irritated eyes can be very uncomfortable. In many cases, an eye doctor will prescribe eye drops to help soothe a patient’s eyes and relieve any pain or discomfort. Before your eyes can heal, however, you must know the proper way to apply these drops. The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Remove the cap without touching the dropper tip.
- Tilting your head back slightly, use your index finger to gently pull your lower eye lid away from your eye to form a pocket.
- With your other hand, tilt the dropper over the pocket.
- While glancing upward, squeeze the bottle and release the correct number of drops into the pocket. Do not allow the bottle to touch either your eye or eyelid to avoid contamination.
- Once drops are in place, close your eyes without blinking.
- Apply pressure to “the point where your lids meet your nose” and hold for approximately two to three minutes, or as instructed by your eye doctor.
- Before opening your eyes, wipe any extraneous drops from your eye lid with a tissue.
- Open your eyes. If using more than one prescription, wait at least five minutes before applying the second dose.
The most important thing to remember is to follow your eye doctor’s instructions precisely. Ask an ophthalmologist on your vision plan if you have any questions regarding your use of eye drops or their possible side effects.
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 vision 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.
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 True Dental Discounts vision plan doctor, ask someone to drive you home and make any necessary arrangements at work.