Most people don’t realize that the eyes are among the organs most susceptible to damage. It’s one of the most exposed organs, yet people tend not to protect it. This seeming tendency to not care for the eyes can lead to several short- and long-term problems that will affect the quality of life that you enjoy. Therefore, it is vital that you take care of your eyesight regardless of the season.
Summertime is one of the best times of the year and one of the periods when people have to take extra eye care precautions. We have to be able to provide enough protection for our eyes so we can enjoy whatever activities we have planned.
Here are some of the extra eye-related precautions we can consider during the summertime.
Shield your eyes from the sun
With the summertime being one of the periods when the sun is most intense, people have to learn to protect their eyes by shielding them from it. Those with normal vision can easily do this by wearing their preferred sunglasses. Those who wear spectacles can resort to wearing clip-on that eyecare stores sell. People need to wear these sunglasses even if it’s cloudy.
Another way to protect your eyes is to wear a wide-brimmed hat to fend off those harmful ultraviolet rays. Not only will you be protecting your eyes, but you will also protect your skin and eyes from sunburn. You can also protect your eyes from macular degeneration, ocular melanoma, and cataracts.
Stay hydrated and keep your eyes as lubricated as possible
You need to stay as hydrated as possible because there’s an increased risk of dehydration, especially if you’re exposed to the sun longer. Your eyes might dry and feel irritated faster or become watery for your own good. If you suffer from dry eyes syndrome (DES), it’s probably best to consult your doctor about OptiLight treatment designed to manage the condition. It is a non-invasive treatment applied to the areas below the eyes and is the only FDA-approved intense pulsed light (IPL) procedure.
Be sure to wear protective eyewear for various activities
Since it’s summer, you’ll probably want to spend more time outdoors. It will be best to wear different protective eye gear whenever you pursue summer activities. If you go swimming, don’t forget to wear goggles so you wouldn’t get your eyes irritated by the saltwater. Wear safety sports goggles whenever you hike or do other outdoor activities to protect your eyes from debris, dust, and the sun.
Wash your hands
Regularly washing your hands is one of the best ways to protect your eyes. People often wipe their eyes with their hands, increasing the risk of contracting eye-related illnesses such as conjunctivitis or trachoma. Avoid touching your eyes when your hands aren’t clean.
Eat a balanced diet
Try to eat as much leafy green vegetables and omega-3-rich food. These are rich in antioxidants and also help in hydration.
There are several ways to protect your eyes during the summer. We have to be aware of these strategies to care for our eyesight properly.
June Shannon has revealed that she is legally blind as a result of childhood cataracts that were not properly treated.
Mama June’s eyesight is obviously an issue during Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Season 2, when the family goes go-karting to celebrate her husband Sugar Bear’s 41st birthday.
Honey Boo Boo’s mother admits that her blurry vision make her afraid to get into a go-kart, and has prevented her from getting a driver’s license.
June Shannon’s eyesight has been an issue in the past when interacting with seven-year old daughter Honey Boo Boo and her sisters Pumpkin, 13, Chubbs, 16, and 18-year-old Chickadee.
During the season premiere, June Shannon, 33, was shown putting her daughters’ cell phones into a cheese ball bucket when they refused to stop texting. But when Mama June uses her own phone, she is forced to squint and hold it inches from her face.
June Shannon has revealed that she is legally blind as a result of childhood cataracts that were not properly treated
During the first season, June Shannon was shown having to squint incredibly hard to see the numbers at Bingo. Her imperfect vision is also an issue when she tries to save money by doing Honey Boo Boo’s pageant make-up herself.
“My mama better stick to couponing and stay away from the makeup table,” Alana Thompson aka Honey Boo Boo says.
Though cataracts are very common in older people – with around 50% of adults developing them by age 80 – experts estimate that a baby’s chances of being born with cataracts is only around one in 5,000.
In the past Mama June has expressed insecurities about her “forklift foot” that was run over by a piece of heavy machinery. Even Sugar Bear wasn’t allowed to see her sockless.
But for the most part, June Shannon is confident, happy and doesn’t let physical issues get her down.
After encouragement from her family, Mama June takes the wheel at the go-kart track – and even laughs when the kart gets jammed and she has to be rescued by three attendants.
What are childhood cataracts?
A cataract is an eye disease in which the clear lens of one or both eyes becomes cloudy
It is estimated that one in 5,000 children are born with cataracts
In most cases, the exact cause is not known, but some possible causes include genetic conditions or infections during pregnancy
Doctors recommend performing surgery within the first two months and definitely by four months
Cataract operations are generally very successful, with a low risk of serious complications
The team that discovered the first drug in the world for cataracts prevention won $100,000 at the Enterprize competition of the University of Queensland Business School’s in Australia.
The University of Queensland Business School MBA program was ranked 46th in the world by The Economist. Enterprize competition started in 2000 and it has assisted businesses like Fusion Sport, Southern Innovation and Vaxxas (which is pioneering the Nanopatch needle-free vaccine delivery system).
Dr Tim Lovell and Professor Andrew Abell and Dr Victoria Kopetz accepted the prize on October 13 after a final business pitch to the Enterprize judges at Pitch Day, held at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
Professor Abell, Professor of Chemistry at Adelaide University, is the lead inventor and he has been working in the last ten years on the class of drug compounds involved.
He and Dr Lovell are the co-founders of Calpain Therapeutics (Adelaide-based), which will commercialize the drug. The medicine, that slows cataracts formation and progression, targets a protein called calpain in the eye’s tissue. Calpain protein, a protease (proteolytic enzyme), can cause the cataracts clouding when it is activated by different triggers.
Calpain is a protein in the eyes that can cause cataracts. The new drug investigated by Australian researchers triggers calpain and could prevent cataracts blindness.
Dr Lovell has worked on drug design and development with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and was a business development manager at Bio Innovation SA in Adelaide.
“Calpain Therapeutics is pioneering a novel drug with application to the eye health of people around the world.The proposition of the drug is to significantly slow down cataracts on their path to causing blindness. With severe cataracts the leading cause of blindness around the world, the Business School is proud to support such a visionary innovation,” said Professor Iain Watson, the University of Queensland Business School’s Academic Dean and Head.
Calpain Therapeutics team was “thrilled to have won such a prestigious competition as Enterprize. The $100,000 Enterprize prize money will enable us to complete key human lens experiments, the next step before clinical trials. We will be able to start those very soon, and complete them in three to six months. Going through the Enterprize competition judging process has also been invaluable for us. It forced us to focus on and refine our business plan, to hone an engaging, informative business pitch to put to investors,” said Dr Lovell.
They won the prize on World Sight Day, an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired. World Sight Day is held on the second Thursday of October. It is the main advocacy event for the prevention of blindness and for Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, a global effort to prevent blindness created by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
The world-first drug that could prevent vision loss from cataracts has been effective in preliminary trials but is yet to be tested on humans.
This medicine could delay cataracts progression in such a manner that surgery might never be needed, said Abell.
“Optometrists can tell very early on whether you have signs of cataracts, well before they affect vision. By using the drug early, you could slow their development so much it would not actually develop,” Professor Abell told The Advertiser.
The medication could be either drops or a cream “that you put in your eyes each night before you go to sleep”, said Dr Lovell. “We see it as akin to brushing your teeth each day. You do that to prevent cavities. This would be a drop each day to prevent cataracts.”
“Through a routine eye examination, optometrists and ophthalmologists can see the early stages of a cataract forming. Once it’s detected, then you could start to use the drug to slow its progress. And because we know that if you have a cataract in one eye you will most likely get one in the other eye, you could start to apply the drug to both eyes, delaying the onset of a cataract in one while slowing the growth of the cataract that has been diagnosed,” he said.
Cataracts are opacities in the eyes lens, that lead to blurred vision or cloudiness.
The lens is the most important transparent structure in the eye that helps vision clarity. If the lens loses its elasticity and transparency, visual impairment appears, or even vision loss. The cataract can develop in one or in both eyes.
Lens transparency is affected by cataracts and can lead to vision loss.
Cataract derives from the Latin cataracta meaning waterfall and from the Greek καταράκτης (kataraktēs), down-rushing (rapidly running water turns white, mature cataracts are white too). Romans performed cataracts interventions using the sharp end of a needle for surgery and the blunt end heated to cauterize the wound.
The most cataracts are age-related, senile, and usually appear after the age of 65. The cataracts can be congenital (appears in new-born) or caused by heavy smoking, heavy drinking, long-term use of steroid medication (drug-induced cataract), diabetes, eye injury (traumatic cataract), exposure to ultraviolet light.
Around 18 million people are blind from cataracts (48% of world blindness), lots of them in the world’s poorer regions, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness estimates. Childhood cataracts are very rare, affecting about 3 in 10,000 children in the UK.
Cataract has no scientifically proven prevention. Yet wearing ultraviolet-protecting sunglasses may slow the development of cataracts. An antioxidant N-acetylcarnosine has been shown in randomized controlled clinical trials to treat cataracts an it is a proposed treatment for ocular related to oxidative stress (glaucoma, retinal degeneration, corneal disorders, ocular inflammation).
Lutein and zeaxanthin, Bilberry extract, showed potential benefits in rat laboratory and in clinical studies.
Acetyl-carnosine eye drops are believed to reduce oxidation damage in the lens, crystallin crosslinking. Trials indicated the drops may be appropriate when the surgery cannot be performed.
The statins seem to have antioxidants properties besides lowering lipids, cholesterol. A study suggested statin use in an at-risk population may be associated with a lower risk of developing nuclear cataract disease. Systematic application of azapentacene sodium polysulfonate (Quinax) slows cataracts progression showed an observation of an average five years.
More than 200,000 cataracts surgeries are performed every year. The cloudy lens is replaced with a synthetic lens (an intraocular lens implant). Intraocular lenses are usually monofocal and the patient is dependent on glasses after surgery. New multifocal lenses are flexible and can be controlled using the same eye muscles used to control the natural lens, leading to a less need for glasses.
Cataracts surgery lasts 30-45 minutes. The vision is improved very soon after the procedure and normal vision (with glasses) is reported in around 95% of cases. Complications after surgery are relatively uncommon.
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