Eye Care is More than Eye Wear

22 Mar Eye Care is More than Eye Wear

We often take our eyes for granted. Yet, eye health is an essential part of your overall health. That’s why we have integrated comprehensive eye and vision care into our services at Crossover Health. Your plan covers eye screenings, and we’ve made it incredibly easy to make caring for your eyes part of living a healthy life.

What is Eye Screening?

We say “eye and vision screening” not “vision screening”  for a really important reason. A lot of people don’t think they need to visit an optometrist because they don’t need glasses or contacts. Of course, if you do need glasses, a vision screening that assesses how well you see is important and as we age, most of us grow into the need for corrective lenses.

Eye screening is much more than checking how well you can see, however. First of all, it checks for the early, often hidden signs of eye-related issues such as cataracts or glaucoma that are much easier to treat at their onset.

The eyes have it

But, and maybe more important, your eyes are amazing early indicators of other health conditions that your physician may not have been able to see yet. Here’s an example.

The macula is the central and most sensitive  part of your retina.  Diabetes can cause swelling of the macula, as well as small blood vessel leaks in the eye. Your optometrist may, through the  eye screening pick up these indicators of Type 2 diabetes before your primary care doctor uncovers other signs in your regular physical. The same swelling and leaks can also be indicators of high blood pressure and other circulatory issues, and these are only a couple of examples of what your optometrist is looking for and can see in a full eye screening. It’s why we say your eyes are the window into your health.

How often?

Adults aged 19 to 64 should have an eye screening at least every two years, and people with diabetes should have an exam at least once a year. Other health conditions assessed by your physician or doctor of optometry may also warrant more frequent eye examinations. Because we’re all under one roof at Crossover Health, we make it easy to coordinate referrals for eye screenings, sometimes even at the same time as your physical. And since you can easily and securely share your health information at Crossover, your doctor and optometrist will both have all the knowledge they need to make the right decisions for your health.

Eyes right in the summer

Your eye screening is a great step to maintaining eye health, and overall health. You can also help your eyes between exams, especially during the summer months that are just about upon us..

Where we are, the weather is always pretty nice, and maybe we tend to forget how strong the UV radiation is from the sun in the summer, and how much harm it can do to our eyes (and our skin too, but that’s for another post). Well, at Crossover Health, we want to get you outdoors while keeping your eyes healthy.

One effect of sun are the crow’s feet around your eyes.  It’s all about UV light but there is an easy way to delay these kinds of wrinkles you get from sun exposure and from squinting: sunglasses. They’re important for more than preventing wrinkles though.

UV light also ages your eyes, creating unsightly yellowish coloration to the whites of your eyes which diminishes their nice bright white youthful look and adds to the obvious aging of your face .  

And did you know that UV light can actually cause poor vision and eye health issues? The yellowish coloration on your eyes from sun overexposure are actually small bumps that cause chronic irritation in your eyes.  Accumulation of UV light in your eyes also causes cataracts.  We all WILL get cataracts, but the more often you wear sun protection, like a hat and sunglasses, the older you will be when you develop them.  Sunlight exposure is also a contributing factor to macular degeneration.  This is a particularly challenging disease as it cause irreversible blindness.

You should also know that that childhood maxum about not looking at the sun is actually accurate – it is really bad for your eyes. The truth is that if you look at the sun directly long enough, you will develop a burn in your retina which creates a hole in the center of your vision that will never go away (yup, don’t try that at home!).   

So what to do about sunglasses? Are they all the same? Almost all sunglasses these days offer UVB and UVA protection.  However, better quality ones do a superior job of filtering out those rays and are optically clearer.  
It does not matter how dark the sunglasses are.  Even clear glasses can have a UV coating although sunglasses are usually larger and wrap around better to protect the skin around your eyes. Polarized sunglasses, helpful when driving or in a reflective environment like on a boat or skiing do not, however filter out more UV rays than non-polarized glasses.  Some contact lens brands offer UV protection too but since they don’t cover the whites of your eyes or the skin, sunglasses are still advised.  

Healthy eyes. Healthy lives.

There you are: the eyes have it. We want you to do right by your eyes, and have made it so easy to include eye care into your health routine at Crossover. (Eye wear too – we have some pretty stylish frames for you at our health centers). Next time you’re in for your physical or, really, any other reason, ask about eye screening. Better yet, hop online and schedule a screening. We can’t wait to see you.

 

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