Do you tilt your newspaper or book towards the window when trying to read the small print? Are your glasses coming off when you attempt to decipher the numbers on your credit card?
You may be one of millions who are experiencing what it means to have aging eyes, and people are feeling these effects as early as their 40’s. It’s recommended that you have regular vision checks and maintain a healthy lifestyle to stay on top of any problems needing medical treatment.
For many, dealing with the struggles of aging eye can be as simple as making small changes to have a big impact on your quality of life.
Need for more light. As you age, you need more light to see as well as you used to. Brighter lights in your work area or next to your reading chair will help make reading and other close-up tasks easier.
You’ll want to have the best light you can. This means light optimized for less glare and more clarity to ease the strain on your eyes.
As we age, the lens of our eyes starts to lose the transparency and become clouded, so you will want to look for lighting that will compensate for these changes in your eyes,and enhance those spectral colors that we tend to have more difficulty seeing as we age.
Choosing proper lighting is one of the easiest and best changes you can make as you live with the aging process and how it affects your vision. Quality lighting is essential to ease your eye strain and tension headaches, while enabling you to do what you love for longer.
Interesting article about cataract surgery and its benefits in the New York Times today. While a Microsun lamp doesn’t cure cataracts, the full spectrum high intensity light is color balanced to make reading with cataracts easier, and in the early stages, it can be a huge help. Cataracts are a readers worst enemy, a Microsun lamp is a readers best friend.
After 72 very nearsighted years, 55 of them spent wearing Coke-bottle glasses, Jane Quinn of Brooklyn, N.Y., is thrilled with how well she can see since having her cataracts removed last year.
“It’s very liberating to be able to see without glasses,” Ms. Quinn told me. “My vision is terrific. I can even drive at night. I can’t wait to go snorkeling.”
And I was thrilled to be able to tell her that the surgery very likely did more than improve her poor vision. According to the results of a huge new study, it may also prolong her life.
The 20-year study, conducted among 74,044 women aged 65 and older, all of whom had cataracts, found a 60 percent lower risk of death among the 41,735 women who had their cataracts removed. The findings were published online in JAMA Ophthalmology in October by Dr. Anne L. Coleman and colleagues at the Stein Eye Institute of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, with Dr. Victoria L. Tseng as lead author.
A cataract is a clouding and discoloration of the lens of the eye. This normally clear structure behind the iris and pupil changes shape, enabling incoming visual images to focus clearly on the retina at the back of the eye. When cataracts form, images get increasingly fuzzy, the eyes become more sensitive to glare, night vision is impaired, and color contrasts are often lost. One friend at 74 realized she needed cataract surgery when she failed to see the yellow highlighted lines in a manuscript she was reading; for her husband, then 75, it was his ophthalmologist who said “it’s time.”
Cataracts typically form gradually with age, and anyone who lives long enough is likely to develop them. They are the most frequent cause of vision loss in people over 40. Common risk factors include exposure to ultraviolet radiation (i.e., sunlight), smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, prolonged use of corticosteroids, extreme nearsightedness and family history.
Wearing sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays and a hat are important preventives. Eating lots of foods rich in vitamin E (such as spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds and sweet potatoes); the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (in kale, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables), and omega-3 fatty acids (in spinach and oily fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines) may also reduce the risk of cataracts.
Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed operation in the United States, with more than three million Americans having cataracts removed each year, according to the organization Prevent Blindness America. With tiny instruments, the cloudy lens is sucked out of the eye and an artificial lens inserted in its place. After about half an hour in recovery, patients can go home.
“Not only can cataract surgery give people a better life while they’re living it, they can also live more of it,” Dr. Coleman said in an interview. The women in the study who underwent cataract surgery lived longer even though, over all, they were sicker to begin with — as a group, they had more heart attacks, chronic pulmonary disease, peptic ulcers and glaucoma than those who did not have surgery.
Previous studies had shown a lower mortality risk in men as well as women following cataract surgery, Dr. Coleman said. The new study, while confirming the earlier findings of fewer deaths in women, was also large enough to show just how the operation can extend life. Those who had cataract surgery subsequently had reduced risks of death from cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological and infectious diseases, as well as cancer and accidents.
In explaining this result, Dr. Coleman said that when people can see better, “they can also move more and get more exercise. They can see their pills better and may be more likely to take them and take the right ones. The surgery also improves visual contrast,which decreases the risk of accidental deaths from falls or driving. It’s important to get the best vision a person can have.”
And for those of us who love reading, life isn’t quite as much fun when our favorite pastime becomes a struggle. The high output, full spectrum light you get with a Microsun lamp is one of the best ways to make reading a joy again- and possibly extend your life.
More and more people are choosing to relieve some stress and stay home on Black Friday…or better yet, to get outside and enjoy!
The flurry of activity in malls and department stores on Black Friday has often become synonymous with stress, rage and poor behavior.
Many are opting out this year and choosing to spend the day away from the chaos of Black Friday.
“This November, there is a seismic shift in when and how adults are shopping for holiday gifts,” said George Noceti, a vice president and wealth adviser with Morgan Stanley. “I call it the graying of Black Friday.”
Increased ease of online shipping makes it a less stressful, lucrative choice for a growing number of holiday shoppers. Shopping in pajamas behind on your laptop or tablet while sipping your favorite winter beverage has an appeal that a frenzied shopping mall crowd simply cannot match.
As online shopping becomes easier and more efficient all the time, with discounts that rival or surpass those offered in brick-and-mortar stores, people are choosing to take advantage of e-commerce and are often buying experiences over things, Fosina said.
This holiday season, we at Microsun want you to relax, enjoy and perhaps get outside to savor the last bits of Autumn before winter blows in full force. Better lighting will help pass those coming winter nights, and this year we’re making it easier for you to find the best light for your home or office.
Daylight Savings Time ended earlier this month, and yet for many of us, the effects of the time change linger still. Many are still experiencing increased levels of tiredness and lethargy as the days seem shorter and evenings longer and darker.
Some ways to assist in alleviation of these symptoms include maintaining a steady schedule, getting regular exercise and increasing light sources, especially during the evening hours.
Dr. Alexandre Abreu from the University of Miami Sleep Medicine program offers the following advice for dealing with the Autumn time change:
Introduce artificial light and a bit of exercise after dinner…Maybe take a walk at a brightly lit mall, visit a fitness center and walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike, or go grocery shopping. If you are home, you might do some light housework with plenty of lights on, or focus on a (brightly lit) hobby or craft project.
Microsun lamps are known as the world’s best reading and crafting lamps because they provide not only more light, but higher quality light than your standard home lamps. If you are looking for ways to improve the lighting in your home to help keep the winter blues at bay, then take a look at Microsun. We have floor lamps, table lamps and dedicated crafting lamps designed with you in mind. See the difference at www.microsun.com.
After age 40, most of us will experience changes in vision. This is why investing in the health of our eyes at every age is so important. Here are four ways you may be able to improve your eye health:
Take a break from the screens. Focusing on brightly-lit screens all day without a break can negatively impact eye health. Put a reminder on your computer keyboard or monitor that compels you to refocus your vision every 10-15 minutes on objects which may be further away, such as the writing on a white board, an office plant in another cubicle, or the view out the window. Forcing your eyes to re-focus to see middle and longer distance objects is a great exercise for reducing eye fatigue.
Use it or lose it. If you spend most of your time doing close, detailed work you may find that your long-range vision begins to suffer. While some of these changes may have to do with overall health or age, you may be able to reduce eye strain by focusing on objects at a distance – without corrective lenses – for 15-30 minutes a day. This can be something as simple as taking a sheet of paper with writing on it and holding it out in front of you until it begins to blur, then focusing and re-focusing as you move the page.
Invest in better light. Reading or doing other types of work in dim or low light has been shown to tire out your eyes more quickly. Simply put, the more light that falls on an object, the easier it is to see. Investing in a powerful reading lamp that delivers full-spectrum light as natural feeling as the sun can help prevent eye strain and the headaches that often accompany it. Ensure that you place the light directly over the reading material or project you are working on to reduce glare.
Spend more time outdoors. Some studies have found that children who spend more time outdoors tend to suffer less from myopia. It doesn’t appear to matter what types of activities children engage in outside, so the theory is that the benefit to vision may be that their eyes are exposed to more sunlight during the day. This may improve depth of field perception and the ability to focus.
Did your parents ever tell you to eat your carrots because carrots could improve your vision?
According to Scientific American, the correlation between eating carrots and improving one’s night vision was first made in a propaganda piece from the British Air Force during World War II. The U.K. Ministry of Food attributed British pilots’ ability to shoot down German aircraft in the dark to the beta-carotene they ingested through their carrot-rich diet. While it’s more likely that their success had to do with the advent of radar, the rumor has persisted over the intervening decades
So is it fact or fiction that eating carrots can help you see in the dark?
It turns out that Vitamin A, which can be converted by the body from beta-carotene, has indeed been shown to improve the night vision when it has been impaired due to a lack of vitamin A. That said, once your body has adequate levels of vitamin A, you can’t continue to improve your vision by ingesting more. This is because – as with many other substances – vitamin A can be toxic in large doses, so our bodies naturally regulate how much vitamin A is in our systems at any one time.
Today, most vision problems are caused by the natural process of aging, genetics, or chronic disease. The best thing to do for your vision as you age is to stock up on green leafy vegetables (which contain nutrients that can protect the eyes by filtering wavelengths that may damage the retina) and ensure that you get enough light when performing detailed work.