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CVS Treatment Canberra

9 Tips to Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome

Have you ever wondered why your eyes feel tired after a long day at the computer screen? You may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome.

Many people think it’s the inevitable product of hours in front of digital devices. But how you spend those hours can make a difference.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Juliet Menakaya, the owner and principal optometrist at Junic Eye Care, in Canberra.

I’d like to share with you some of my insights about computer vision syndrome (CVS) a.k.a. digital eye strain.

Last year, a patient of ours, let’s call him Mike, started experiencing persistent eye strain and headaches. Given his profession as a mobile app developer, he shrugged it off as an occupational hazard of long coding sessions. But, when his symptoms started affecting his work, he knew it was time to seek professional help. That’s when he decided to visit Junic Eye Care.

During his visit, an exam found the root cause of his discomfort: digital eye strain. He was prescribed a pair of blue light reduction glasses and left the clinic with practical advice on managing screen time, emphasizing the 20-20-20 rule to give his eyes the necessary breaks.

A month later, Mike noticed a significant improvement. His headaches were gone and his productivity improved. He could code for many more hours in the day without discomfort. This proves how important professional eye care advice can be.

Discover how customized eye care can make your screen time strain-free!

Keep exploring our blog for more insights and tips on maintaining your eye health in the digital age.

 

Understanding Computer Vision Syndrome

Awareness is key to managing CVS. In our tech-driven lives, it’s essential to recognize the symptoms and understand their causes.

  • Understanding CVS: It’s characterized by symptoms like eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, and dry eyes. The root of the issue is our extensive screen time, whether for work or leisure.
  • Digital Devices’ Role: Our reliance on digital screens has made CVS more prevalent. The glare, flicker, and prolonged focus required by these devices strain our eyes, demanding more from them than they are naturally designed to handle.
  • Contributing Factors: Environmental conditions such as poor lighting, screen glare, and improper workstation setup can exacerbate CVS symptoms.

Watch the following video where Dr Richard Simons goes deeper on the symptoms and causes of computer vision syndrome.

Tip #1: Optimize Your Work Environment

Can adjusting your screen really make a difference in combating Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)? Absolutely. In my practice, I often compare a well-set-up workspace to a well-tuned instrument—it makes every performance that much better.

Positioning your screen is key. It should be about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level. This setup mirrors reading a book comfortably in your favorite chair—close enough to see clearly without leaning forward, but far enough to give your eyes a broader perspective.

 

Tip #2: Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. This brief pause is like a mini-vacation for your eyes, allowing them to relax and reduce strain. Just like you need to stretch your legs after sitting for too long, your eyes need a break from the constant focus on screens.

Putting this rule into practice is easier than you might think. Set a timer on your phone or use a desktop app designed to remind you to take these essential breaks. It’s a small step that can lead to a significant improvement in how your eyes feel at the end of the day.

Incorporating the 20-20-20 rule into your daily routine is a practical, straightforward strategy to protect your eyes from the effects of CVS.

 

Tip #3: Use Proper Eyewear

Protective lenses, specifically designed to filter out blue light, can significantly reduce the strain on your eyes. Imagine these lenses as your personal screen filter, standing guard against the invisible waves that tire your eyes. They create a safer environment for your eyes in a digitally dominated landscape.

At Junic Eye Care, we take the time to understand your specific needs, ensuring you get eyewear that fits your life perfectly. Whether you need a prescription update or are exploring protective blue light lenses for the first time, we guide you through the selection process with expertise and care. There’s more to prescribing glasses than helping you see better—we also want to protect your eyes with the defense they deserve.

 

Tip #4: Adjust Your Digital Device Settings

Tweaking screen settings for optimal comfort can make a world of difference. Adjust the brightness of your device to match the lighting in your room—too bright, and you’re staring into a flashlight; too dim, and you’re straining to see.

Embracing “dark mode” on devices is like putting on sunglasses on a sunny day. This feature reduces blue light exposure, known to interfere with sleep and strain the eyes. By switching to dark mode, especially during the evening, you’re not just easing your eyes; you’re setting the stage for a better night’s sleep.

 

Tip #5: Reduce Environmental Glare

Minimizing glare is like wearing sunglasses on a bright day; it protects your eyes and makes viewing more comfortable. Use blinds or curtains to control natural light and consider an anti-glare screen if you’re near windows.

Tip #6: Blink More Often

How often do you think about blinking? It’s like breathing; we do it without much thought, yet it plays a critical role in our eye health, especially in the digital age. Blinking is our eyes’ natural way of staying moist and refreshed, similar to using windshield wipers in a rainstorm to maintain clear vision.

In the context of staring at screens, we tend to blink less frequently, leading to dry, irritated eyes.

During long periods of screen time you should consciously make an effort to blink fully and completely, at least once every 20 minutes, ensuring your eyelids touch and fully coat the eye surface with a fresh layer of tears.

 

Tip #7: Stay Hydrated and Use Artificial Tears

Hydration plays a pivotal role in eye health. Every part of our body needs water to function properly, and our eyes are no exception. Adequate hydration ensures that your eyes remain lubricated and comfortable, reducing the risk of irritation and dryness commonly associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

There are times, however, when drinking water isn’t enough. This is where artificial tears come in handy. They’re especially useful in environments that contribute to dry eyes, such as air-conditioned offices or during long flights.

Using artificial tears is simple and can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine. For most people, a drop in each eye throughout the day can significantly improve eye comfort. However, it’s always best to consult with an optometrist, like myself at Junic Eye Care, to find the product that best suits your specific needs.

 

Tip #8: Palm Healing

Rubbing your hands together until they’re warm and then gently placing them over your eyes is an age-old technique known as “palm healing” or “palming.” While this method does not directly cure Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), it can offer temporary relief from its symptoms. Think of it as giving your eyes a mini spa treatment. The warmth from your palms helps relax the muscles around your eyes, potentially easing strain and fatigue caused by prolonged screen time.

 

Tip #9: Regular Eye Exams

Why do we often wait until we notice a problem before we seek help? When it comes to our eye health, regular comprehensive eye examinations are the cornerstone of prevention and optimal vision. Think of these exams as routine maintenance for your car; just as you wouldn’t wait for a breakdown to service your vehicle, your eyes deserve the same proactive care.

At Junic Eye Care, we take a holistic approach to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Our comprehensive eye exams go beyond simple vision checks. We assess how your eyes work together in the digital world and identify any underlying issues that could contribute to CVS symptoms.

By understanding the unique demands placed on your eyes by digital devices, we can recommend personalized solutions—from specific eyewear to adjustments in your digital habits. Regular check-ups enable us to monitor changes over time, ensuring your eyes are not just protected but thriving in our screen-saturated environment.

 

CONCLUSION

In this article I’ve outlined a few simple tips to combat computer vision syndrome. By applying some simple lifestyle adjustments and modifications to your workspace, you should find that your discomfort from CVS is noticeably reduced.

And remember, in the fight against CVS, regular eye exams are your first line of defense. They’re an investment in your eye health today and for the future, ensuring that computer vision syndrome doesn’t reduce your ability to enjoy life or work at your full potential. Take charge by scheduling an eye care consultation today.

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

Myopia Canberra

Myopia: A 21st Century Epidemic for Aussie Children

Have you noticed the increasing number of children being diagnosed with nearsightedness today? Recent studies indicate that up to one-third of Australian children are now affected by myopia, a significant increase from past generations. This rise is commonly attributed to both genetic factors and modern environmental influences.

I am Juliet Menakaya, the dedicated owner and principal optometrist at Junic Eye Care, based in Canberra. Our clinic welcomes patients of all ages, but we hold a special place for pediatric optometry. With my extensive qualifications in children’s eye health, I’m driven by a passion to ensure our youngest patients not only achieve optimal vision but also maintain a solid foundation for eye health as they grow.

The surge in myopia, or nearsightedness, is evolving into a significant public health issue. Myopia develops when the eyeball elongates, causing light to focus incorrectly in front of the retina rather than directly on it, leading to blurred distance vision.

To safeguard your family’s vision and learn more about managing myopia, I invite you to visit us at Junic Eye Care. Experience the difference compassionate, expert care can make in ensuring your child’s vision is clear and healthy for years to come.

To learn more about myopia and strategies for controlling its progression, keep reading.

 

Myopia as a Growing Global Concern

Where do we stand in the global fight against myopia? According to the latest research and statistics, the rapid rise of myopia worldwide is undeniable.

  • Globally: Currently, approximately 30% of the world’s population is myopic, with projections suggesting this will rise to almost 50% (around 5 billion people) by 2050. The prevalence of myopia is notably high in East and Southeast Asia, with countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and Japan reporting rates between 80 to 90%.
  • Australia: Locally, the situation mirrors the global trend, with a significant portion of the population, especially children and young adults, experiencing nearsightedness. A 2022 study found that a myopia rate of 28.8% in Australian patients. Comparing these rates to global statistics, Australia is not an outlier; rather, it’s a reflection of a worldwide epidemic that crosses geographical and cultural boundaries.

Watch the following video to understand more about what causes myopia.

Long Term Eye Health Risks

People with advanced myopia are at an increased risk for several eye conditions that can impact their vision later in life. It’s crucial for individuals with high myopia to be aware of these risks and seek regular eye examinations to monitor their eye health.

  • Cataracts: Individuals with severe myopia have a heightened likelihood of developing cataracts, where the eye’s lens becomes opaque, leading to blurred vision. Early detection and treatment can restore vision, often through surgical lens replacement.
  • Glaucoma: Those with advanced myopia face a greater risk of glaucoma, characterized by damage to the optic nerve, often associated with increased pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma can lead to vision loss, making regular screenings essential for early intervention.
  • Retinal Detachment: High myopia significantly increases the risk of retinal detachment, a serious condition where the retina separates from its underlying support tissue. Symptoms can include a sudden appearance of floaters and flashes, requiring immediate medical attention to prevent lasting damage.
  • Macular Degeneration: Myopic macular degeneration, occurring in individuals with high myopia, affects the central portion of the retina, leading to loss of central vision. This condition underscores the importance of regular eye exams to detect early changes in the macula.

Understanding the potential eye conditions associated with advanced myopia is essential for proactive eye care. Individuals with high myopia should maintain regular appointments with their optometrist to monitor for these conditions, ensuring timely treatment to preserve vision.

 

Myopia Early Warning Signs

Detecting early signs of myopia in children can lead to timely intervention, improving their quality of life and educational performance. Parents and guardians play a crucial role in observing these early warning signs, as children might not always communicate their vision difficulties.

  • Frequent Squinting: When a child often squints while looking at distant objects, it suggests they are struggling to see clearly. Squinting temporarily improves their focus by narrowing the eye’s aperture, which indicates difficulties with distance vision.
  • Close Proximity to Screens: If your child consistently sits too close to the television or holds digital devices closer to their eyes than seems normal, it’s a sign they’re compensating for blurred distance vision. This behavior is a classic indicator of myopia, as nearer objects appear clearer to them.
  • Regular Eye Rubbing: Excessive rubbing of the eyes is a common sign of eye strain or fatigue. It can indicate that your child’s eyes are under stress from attempting to focus on distant visuals, signaling potential myopia.
  • Headache Complaints: Children with myopia often complain about headaches, a direct result of eyestrain from overexerting the eyes’ focusing muscles. These headaches typically occur after prolonged reading, screen time, or focusing on distant objects.
  • Decline in Academic Performance: A noticeable drop in school performance, especially in activities involving visual tasks like reading from the board, may suggest vision issues. Myopia can make it difficult for children to engage fully in classroom activities and learn effectively.

Recognizing these signs early can lead to prompt corrective measures, which can significantly improve your child’s daily life and academic success. It is essential to schedule regular eye examinations for your child to ensure any vision problems are detected and managed effectively.

Environmental Factors and Lifestyle Choices

In the last couple of decades, smartphones, tablets, and increased screen time have become integral parts of our lives. And the link between our modern lifestyle and the rising rates of myopia has becomes clearer. It’s as if our eyes are telling us they weren’t designed for this digital gluttony.

Think of it like a diet: Just as our bodies crave a variety of nutrients, our eyes also need a diverse range of visual experiences. Spending hours focused on screens just inches away is like feeding our eyes a steady diet of fast food—convenient yet ultimately harmful.

On the flip side, outdoor activities offer a balanced diet for our eyes. Natural light and the depth and breadth of landscapes provide the visual stimulation our eyes need. Studies show that time spent outdoors can significantly reduce the risk of developing myopia.

It’s a balance, however, not a banishment of technology. Just as we balance our diet for physical health, finding a harmony between screen time and green time is key for our visual well-being.

 

Myopia Control and Prevention Strategies

Myopia can significantly alter a child’s experience in the classroom and on the sports field, places where clear vision is crucial. Imagine trying to learn or play when the world beyond your arm’s reach is a blur. Squinting to see the front of the classroom creates barriers to learning and engaging in physical activities that can shape a child’s self-esteem and health.

How can we shield our children from the increasing prevalence of myopia? The latest advancements in myopia control offer hope and tangible benefits for our young patients and their families.

Atropine eye drops have revolutionized our approach to slowing down myopia’s progression. These drops, used nightly in low doses, act like a soft pause on the rapid development of myopia in children. It’s a straightforward, non-invasive method that has shown promising results in clinical studies, making it a popular choice among parents and optometrists alike.

Myopia control glasses are another pivotal development in our fight against childhood myopia. Among the options available, Hoya Lenses and Stellest Lenses stand out for their innovative design and effectiveness. While Hoya Lenses are well-regarded, we prescribe Stellest Lenses more frequently in our practice. The reason? Stellest Lenses have demonstrated exceptional efficacy in controlling myopia progression. They’re designed not just to correct vision but to actively slow down the elongation of the eye that contributes to myopia. This dual action makes them a preferred choice for many of our patients.

For parents looking to manage their child’s myopia risk, incorporating these advanced solutions with simple lifestyle adjustments can make a significant difference. Encouraging outdoor activities, reducing prolonged screen time, and scheduling regular eye exams are practical steps that complement these treatments. Together, they form a comprehensive approach to myopia control that can help protect our children’s vision.

 

Conclusion

Myopia is now regarded as a public health issue amongst children and I do not take its management lightly. Parents are still trying to understand what the whole fuss is all about. An important part of my myopia management is helping the child’s parents to understand the progressive nature of their child’s myopia and the different options available to them.

When equipped with the right appropriate information, making decisions about myopia control options becomes easier for the parents.

But ignoring early signs of myopia can lead to a lifetime dependency on corrective eyewear and potential vision loss for the child.

Empower your loved one with the gift of clear vision. Don’t wait any longer to book an eye care appointment with us!

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

AMD Treatment Canberra

Latest Advances in Age-related Macular Degeneration Treatment

Have you begun to notice a shadow in the center of your vision? You could be experiencing Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Many think that once you have AMD, there’s little you can do to slow it. But, recent treatments and lifestyle changes are proving otherwise.

I’m Juliet Menakaya, the owner and principal optometrist at Junic Eye Care. I’ve dedicated my career to understanding and treating many types of vision challenges. I focus especially on low vision and binocular vision issues. My passion is in helping patients see the world with ease.

Let me share the story of a patient of ours. A 65 years old retired hospitality worker, she noticed her vision blurring, especially when trying to enjoy her passions in life; reading and cooking. Remembering that our practice caters to the vision needs of all ages, she booked a consultation. It was revealed that the patient was in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration. But with our tailored advice and treatment plan, her condition stabilized. It allowed her to keep enjoying her beloved books and recipes without fearing total vision loss.

Don’t wait until your vision changes to protect your eyes. Book an eye care consultation with us today. It’s the first step to better eye health.

They say knowledge is power, so keep reading to learn more about diagnosis and care for macular degeneration conditions.

Understanding Macular Degeneration

How often do you think about the health of your eyes? For many, the answer might come only when vision begins to change, especially as we age. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a prime example of why we should pay attention sooner rather than later. This condition targets the macula, the part of the eye crucial for clear, straight-ahead vision, which is vital for tasks like reading, driving, and recognizing faces.

AMD manifests in two forms: dry and wet. The dry form is more common, affecting around 80% of those diagnosed with AMD. It’s characterized by the thinning of the macula and the buildup of drusen (small, yellow deposits), leading to a gradual loss of central vision. On the other hand, wet AMD is less common but more severe, caused by abnormal blood vessels that grow under the retina and leak fluids, causing rapid and significant vision loss.

Understanding the difference between these two types is essential, not just for diagnosis but for treatment as well. While there’s currently no cure for AMD, early detection and management can significantly slow its progression and impact on your life. As an optometrist, my goal is to help my patients maintain the best vision possible through comprehensive eye care and the latest treatments available.

 

Risk Factors and Prevention

Can lifestyle choices really influence your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? It’s a question I often encounter in my practice. The truth is, while we can’t choose our genes, there are steps we can take to mitigate our risk of AMD, a leading cause of vision loss in people over 50.

Family history plays a significant role in your risk for AMD. If your parents or siblings have been diagnosed with AMD, you’re at a higher risk. This genetic predisposition doesn’t mean AMD is a certainty for you, but it does underscore the importance of regular eye check-ups and being proactive about eye health.

Smoking is the most significant modifiable risk factor for AMD. Smokers, or those regularly exposed to smoke, have a substantially higher risk of developing AMD compared to non-smokers. Quitting smoking, or better yet, never starting, is one of the best ways to protect your eyes.

Your diet also plays a critical role in eye health. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and certain vitamins and minerals can support macula health. Think of your eye health as a bank account: the more you deposit good nutrients like leafy greens, fish high in omega-3s, and colorful fruits and vegetables, the more you invest in your vision’s future. Foods high in vitamins E and C, zinc, and antioxidants contribute to the defense against oxidative stress in the macula.

Regular physical activity is another pillar of preventing AMD. Exercise improves blood circulation, which is vital for eye health, helping to reduce the risk associated with AMD. Even moderate activities like walking can make a significant difference.

Macular Degeneration Canberra

Early Detection: Key to Managing AMD

Regular comprehensive eye exams include more than just updating your prescription glasses. They’re a crucial opportunity for us to assess the health of your eyes, including the macula. During these exams, we use specialized tools and techniques to detect subtle changes in your vision that may indicate the early stages of AMD. By catching these changes early, we can intervene and implement strategies to slow or halt its progression.

In addition to regular eye exams, there are home monitoring tools available that can help you keep an eye on your vision between appointments. The Amsler grid is a simple but powerful tool used to detect changes in your central vision, which is often affected by AMD. By regularly checking your vision against the grid, you can alert us to any abnormalities and seek prompt treatment.

Distance and near vision testing are also essential components of home monitoring. Changes in your ability to see objects at a distance or up close can be early indicators of AMD. By regularly assessing your distance and near vision, you can track any changes and bring them to our attention during your next appointment.

 

Treatment Options for AMD in Canberra

When it comes to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), knowing your treatment options can make all the difference. But what exactly can we do to combat this condition here in Canberra? Let’s discuss the various treatments available and how they can help manage AMD effectively.

At Junic Eye Care, our approach to managing AMD is comprehensive and collaborative. We work closely with local ophthalmologists to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care. This includes timely referrals for advanced treatments and ongoing co-management to monitor progress and adjust treatment plans as needed.

For those with dry AMD, lifestyle modifications and dietary supplements are often the first line of defense. While there’s no cure for dry AMD, certain lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins, can help slow its progression. Think of it as tending to a garden: by nourishing your body with the right nutrients and habits, you can create an environment where your eyes can thrive despite the challenges posed by AMD.

On the other hand, recent years have seen significant advancements in the treatment of wet AMD, thanks to a therapy called anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) injections. These injections work by targeting the abnormal blood vessels responsible for the rapid vision loss associated with wet AMD, helping to stabilize or even improve vision in many cases.

Watch the following video from Wills Eye Hospital (accredited US hospital) to learn more about the latest advances in wet AMD treatment and advanced stage dry AMD treatment. We hope these new AMD treatment options will soon be available in Australia.

Living with AMD: Support and Resources in Canberra

What if you were suddenly faced with the challenges of living with age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? How would you adapt to the changes in your vision and navigate your daily life? Here in Canberra, there are resources and support available to help you adjust and thrive despite the obstacles posed by AMD.

Eyes for Life (EFLC) is one such support group in Canberra that empowers people with vision impairment. EFLC will provide solutions and strategies to help you maintain your independence. A Future Development Plan is about developing basic and essential skills for you to live confidently at home, in the community and to increase your social participation.

Adapting to life with AMD can be daunting, but it’s not insurmountable. Practical tips and aids can make a significant difference in your daily routine. Simple modifications, like increasing the brightness and contrast on your electronic devices or using magnifiers and large-print materials, can make tasks like reading and writing more manageable. It’s all about finding creative solutions that work for you and your unique needs.

But sometimes, even with these adjustments, you may still find certain activities challenging due to your vision loss. That’s where low vision therapy comes in. This specialized form of therapy focuses on maximizing your remaining vision and teaching you alternative techniques to perform daily tasks independently. It’s like having a personal coach by your side, guiding you through the intricacies of living with AMD and empowering you to live life on your terms.

Here at Junic Eye Care, we understand the impact that AMD can have on your life, which is why we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive support and resources to our patients. From practical tips for daily living to low vision therapy sessions tailored to your specific needs, we’re here to help you navigate the challenges of living with AMD with confidence and resilience. With the right tools and support, you can continue to live a fulfilling and independent life, regardless of your vision loss.

CONCLUSION

Junic Eye Care in Canberra offers many ocular care services including early detection, management, and referrals for AMD patients. Our low vision therapy helps maintain quality of life for patients with advanced AMD. Without timely help, AMD can get worse fast. This is especially true for the wet form. It can lead to severe vision loss or legal blindness.

Your vision is irreplaceable. Seize the chance to preserve it by booking an eye care consultation with Junic Eye Care today.

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

Poor sleep and dry eye syndrome

The Connection Between Sleep and Dry Eyes: What You Need to Know

Have you ever thought why your eyes feel gritty and tired, even after a long sleep?

It’s a familiar problem for many in Canberra, where our dry, windy weather is tough on our eyes.

There’s a common thought that getting some sleep means waking up with healthy, refreshed eyes. But that’s not always true.

I’ve seen this firsthand at our eye care practice. One of our patients, Lina, a 47 year old virtual assistant, used to wake up every day with dry, uncomfortable eyes and thought it was just a part of getting older. Even after adjusting for digital screen usage and making other lifestyle changes, she still woke up each day with uncomfortable eyes. After talking with us she was surprised to learn how much sleep patterns could be affecting her dry eye symptoms.

In case we haven’t met, I’m Juliet Menakaya, Canberra optometrist and owner of Junic Eyecare. At our clinic we are passionate about helping our patients to overcome the challenges of dry eye syndrome. So in this article I’m going to talk about why quality of sleep and dry eyes are interrelated issues. I’ll share some tips on what you can do about it.

If you’d like a one-to-one consultation to discuss what we can do overcome your itchy, dry eyes and improve your quality of life, then reach out today and book and appointment.

Or, if you’d just like to understand better about the surprising connections between sleep and dry eye disease, read on!

Bad Sleep Leads to Dry Eyes

You know how you feel after a bad night’s sleep – groggy, grumpy, and just not on your game. But have you thought about what it does to your eyes? Turns out, not getting enough Z’s can make dry eye symptoms a whole lot worse. Insufficient sleep can affect both the quantity and quality of tears that our eyes produce.

Circadian Rhythm Disturbances:

The link between dry eyes and your daily sleep pattern might have to do with a brain chemical called 5-HT, which helps regulate your body’s internal clock and is also found in human tears. People with a certain type of dry eye, where they don’t produce enough tears, often have higher levels of this chemical in their tears.

Getting Older and Changing Sleep

As we get older, our sleep patterns often change. Older adults might find themselves waking up more often during the night or sleeping less deeply. This can mean more time with your eyes not fully closed, leading to – you guessed it – drier eyes. It’s like a double whammy of getting older and having to deal with both sleep changes and dry eyes as well!

Not Closing Eyelids Properly During Sleep

Have you ever heard of nocturnal lagophthalmos? It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a pretty common eye condition. When we sleep, we’re supposed to close our eyelids completely. But for some individuals, that doesn’t happen. Their eyelids don’t fully shut, leaving a little gap. They get exposed all night long, leading to all that dryness and irritation you feel when you wake up. This can lead to a condition known as exposure keratopathy, a condition that affects the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye.

Studies on the “Bad Sleep / Dry Eye” Connection

A 2021 European study also found that people who suffer from “highly symptomatic dry eye” were more than three times as likely to also be experiencing poor sleep, as those who did not have poor sleep.

A 2022 Chinese study found a significant correlation between poor sleep and dry eyes.

Sleep disorders are particularly common in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome and are most common in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome.

Bad sleep and dry eyes

Diagnostic Techniques and Treatments at Junic Eyecare

When you visit Junic Eyecare with dry, itchy eyes, we go full detective mode to figure out exactly what’s causing the trouble. And for that, we’ve got some cool technology, like the Oculus 5M diagnostic machine.

Getting Up Close with the Oculus 5M

The Oculus 5M is an advanced diagnostic tool we use to check out your eyes. It lets us take a super detailed look at your eye’s surface, measuring things like tear film and oil gland function. It’s like having a high-tech microscope specifically for your eyes, showing us what’s going wrong and why your eyes feel like a desert.

Why Accurate Diagnosis Matters

Getting the diagnosis right is key. It’s like knowing whether your car needs an oil change or a whole new engine. With the Oculus 5M’s help, we can pinpoint the exact cause of your dry eyes. This means we can come up with a treatment plan that’s tailored just for you – no one-size-fits-all solutions here.

Tailored Treatments for You

So, what kind of treatments are we talking about? At Junic Eyecare, we’ve got plenty of options. Here are a few:

  • Meibomian Gland Expression: Sounds fancy, right? It’s actually pretty straightforward. We gently press on the glands in your eyelids to get them unclogged and working right, helping your eyes stay moist. It’s a quick and painless procedure.
  • Bruder Mask Treatments: Think of this as a spa treatment for your eyes. These masks are heated up and placed on your eyes, helping to loosen up any blockages in your glands. It’s like a warm compress but more high-tech and way more relaxing.
  • Blephex Debridement: This one’s for cleaning up the eyelid margins. We use a special tool to gently remove any scaly, crusty stuff that’s been building up and messing with your eye health.

At Junic Eyecare, we can find what works best for you. No two pairs of eyes are the same, so why should their treatments be? Whether it’s getting those eyelid glands working again or just a good old clean-up, we’ve got you covered.

Lifestyle Adjustments to Reduce Dry Eye Symptoms

We’ve got some great treatments at Junic Eyecare, but there’s a bunch you can do on your own to help keep those eyes feeling good. A few tweaks in your daily routine and diet can really make a difference with dry eye symptoms.

Stay Hydrated and Mind Your Environment

First up, drink plenty of water – it’s super important. Keeping hydrated helps maintain the moisture in your eyes. Think of it as watering a plant; you need enough water to keep it from drying out.

The Magic of Omega 3 Fish Oil

You’ve probably heard about Omega 3’s being good for your heart, but guess what? They’re great for your eyes too! Omega 3 fish oil can help soothe and reduce dry eye symptoms. It’s like an internal moisturizer for your eyes. The most effective way to get it is by taking supplements – just a little change in your diet for happier eyes.

Take Eye Breaks

Simple things like remembering to blink more often when you’re glued to your computer screen can help. It’s easy to forget to blink when you’re “in the zone”, but regular blinking is like hitting the refresh button for your eyes. Also, try to give your eyes regular breaks from screens – maybe follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Protect Your Eyes Outdoors

Don’t forget sunglasses when you’re out and about; they protect your eyes from the wind and sun, which can dry them out, not to mention that UV protection should ALWAYS be priority. Wraparounds work best when it comes to shielding your eyes from all the elements.

Add a Humidifier to Your Bedroom

By using a humidifier, you’re creating a more eye-friendly environment while you sleep. This extra humidity helps keep your eyes from drying out, reducing the irritation and discomfort you feel in the morning. Plus, it’s not just good for your eyes; it can improve your overall sleep quality and even benefit your skin. Think of it as creating a mini spa environment in your bedroom, where your eyes get to relax and rejuvenate all night long.

CPAP Devices and Dry Eyes

Now, here’s something specific: people using CPAP machines for sleep apnea might know this all too well. These machines are great for helping you breathe better at night, but they can sometimes blow air around your eyelids, drying out your eyes. It’s like having a tiny fan pointed at your eyes all night. Not ideal for keeping them moist, right? CPAP users should ensure the masks are fitted properly to avoid leakage which undeniably leads to dry eyes.

Check Your Bedroom Fans

Speaking of fans, be aware that sleeping with a room fan turned on can dry out your eyes, especially if it’s pointed directly at your face. The constant airflow from a fan can increase tear evaporation, leaving your eyes less lubricated. You should direct the airflow away from your face or try to use a lower setting.

Check Your Pillows

Allergens in your pillow or bedding, such as dust mites or synthetic fibers, can irritate your eyes. This irritation can lead to inflammation and dryness. Using hypoallergenic pillows or regularly washing bedding in hot water can help reduce this risk.

Moisture Chamber Goggles

If you can get used to wearing goggles while you sleep, moisture chamber eyewear can be incredibly helpful for managing dry eyes overnight. They create a protective barrier that traps moisture close to the eyes, which helps to prevent the dryness that can occur from exposure to the air.

Eyelid Tape

Eyelid tape can offer a simple solution for those with dry eyes by helping keep the eyelids closed during sleep, thus maintaining eye moisture; however, it might not be suitable for everyone as it can cause skin irritation or discomfort, and isn’t always effective if the tape doesn’t stay on throughout the night.

Check Your Sleeping Position

Can changing the position of how you lie in bed really help reduce dry eye symptoms? If you sleep in a way that your eyes are pressed against the pillow or if the pillow causes your eyelids to partially open, it can lead to increased tear evaporation during the night. This is more likely to happen with certain sleeping positions, like sleeping on your stomach or side, where your face is in direct contact with the pillow.

If you’d like to learn more about whether a different pillow might help you achieve a better “sleeping posture”, or better utilize moisture goggles, check out the following video from the Dr. EyeGuy YouTube channel.

Regular Eye Check-Ups: Key to Managing Dry Eyes

Last but definitely not least, let’s chat about regular eye check-ups. It’s not just about updating your glasses prescription – these check-ups can catch dry eye issues before they turn into a bigger headache.

Think of regular eye exams as your early warning system. We can spot signs of dry eye syndrome before you even start feeling the scratchiness or discomfort. By keeping up with your eye appointments, we can keep tabs on how your eyes are doing over time. If we see any changes or signs of dry eyes, we can jump right into action.

And remember, dry eyes aren’t just a one-time thing for many people. It can be an ongoing battle. So, having regular check-ups means we’re always in tune with what your eyes need at any given time.

So, don’t wait for your eyes to feel scratchy before you come to see us. Regular check-ups are your best bet in keeping your eyes happy and healthy!

Conclusion

Poor sleep and dry eyes is more than just a minor annoyance. It’s a wake-up call (pun intended!) to take our eye health seriously. Over time, leaving these symptoms unchecked can lead to more serious eye health issues. But don’t worry, there’s plenty we can do to turn things around.

In Canberra’s challenging climate, with its dry air and blustery winds, our eyes are up against a lot. And let’s not forget the impact of our daily habits, like staring at screens for hours or sleeping with a fan on. These little things can add up, making our eyes work overtime to stay moist and healthy. But the good news is, clinical dry eye treatment along with small changes in our lifestyle can make a big difference.

So, if you’re tired of waking up with eyes that feel like they’ve been on a desert trek, it’s time to take action.

Regular eye check-ups are key, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Don’t let dry eyes be the norm. Give us a call or swing by Junic Eyecare, and let’s chat about how we can help you get back to waking up with happy, healthy eyes. Remember, your eyes deserve the best care, and we’re here to provide just that.

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

Omega 3 fish oil for dry eye disease

Dry Eyes Relief? How Omega 3 Fish Oil Could Be the Answer

Ever found yourself blinking away after a windy day in Canberra, wondering why your eyes feel rough and scratchy instead of clear and comfortable?

It’s a common myth that dry eyes are just a minor nuisance, easily ignored and seldom serious.

But as many Canberra residents can attest, in our city’s dry and blustery conditions, dry eye syndrome is far more than a fleeting irritation.

Picture this: you’re trying to enjoy an evening reading or working on your computer, but the relentless irritation in your eyes turns these simple activities into a challenge.

Contrary to what many think, effectively managing dry eyes often involves more than just eye drops; it can be closely linked to your diet and overall health. One potential ally in this battle is Omega-3 fish oil, a supplement that’s not just for general wellness but might be particularly beneficial for soothing your troubled eyes.

According to a comprehensive study involving 32,000 patients, those with higher Omega-3 intake experienced about a 17% reduction in dry eye risk compared to those who consumed minimal or no Omega-3.

I’m Juliet Menakaya, owner of the Canberra optometrist practice, Junic Eyecare, where we look beyond the surface to holistically manage dry eye syndrome. I speak with many patients about how a few simple dietary adjustments can help with managing their dry eye conditions.

One of my patients, a photographer from Ghana now living in Canberra, struggled with dry, irritated eyes exacerbated by long hours in front of a computer. After incorporating Omega-3 rich foods and supplements into his diet on my suggestion, he saw a noticeable improvement in his symptoms, finding relief from the constant dryness and irritation.

Dry eyes can often be a window into your overall health, signaling the need for not just eye care but a comprehensive wellness approach. So if itchy, scratchy eyes are holding back your productivity and enjoyment of life, why not book an appointment for a comprehensive dry eye assessment?

Or if you would like to learn more about how incorporating Omega-3 fish oil into your diet could provide the relief your eyes desperately need, keep reading.

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil – A Natural Remedy

In the Omega-3 family, you’ve got DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) – these are the guys you find in fish. They get straight to work in your body, especially in helping keep your eyes well-lubricated. Then there’s ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid), found in plants like flaxseeds and walnuts. It’s good too, but your body has to do a bit of work to turn it into the kind of Omega-3 your eyes love. Among the three main types of Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA are generally considered more effective for helping with dry eyes than ALA.

From my experience at Junic Eyecare, I’ve seen how adding Omega-3 supplements to your diet can make a real difference for patients with dry eyes. It’s not a magic cure, but it’s a simple, natural way to help out those tired, scratchy eyes.

And just a quick heads-up: this is general advice. For a plan that’s tailored just for you, it’s always best to chat with a dietician.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Role in Eye Health Benefit for Dry Eye Relief Typical Food Sources
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) Structural component of retinal cells, visual processing Supports overall eye health Fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines; algae oils
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) Anti-inflammatory properties Reduces inflammation on the eye’s surface Oily fish such as mackerel, herring, and anchovies
ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) Precursor to EPA and DHA Limited direct benefit for dry eyes due to low conversion rate to EPA and DHA Flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, plant oils (flaxseed oil, soybean oil), and green leafy vegetables

 

Balancing Omega-3 Intake: Dosage and Safety

When it comes to balancing your Omega-3 intake, I know there are a few questions that might pop up. Like, how much is too much? And are there any side effects to watch out for? It’s all about finding that sweet spot. Too little, and you might not see the benefits; too much, and you could experience some mild side effects, like a fishy aftertaste, or in rare cases, stomach upsets. It’s a bit like seasoning food – just enough can enhance the flavor, but overdo it, and it’s all you can taste.

Before you start adding more fish to your diet or taking fish oil supplements, it’s wise to have a chat with your healthcare provider. This is especially important if you’re on medications like blood thinners, as fish oil can sometimes affect how these medications work.

Let’s not forget, Omega-3s are not just good for dry eyes; they’re like a multi-tool for health. They can help keep your heart ticking along nicely, might give your brain a bit of a boost, and even keep your joints moving smoothly. It’s like giving your body a little bit of love with every dose.

Now, speaking of Omega-3s, let me introduce you to Lacritec. It’s a supplement we often recommend at Junic Eyecare. Lacritec is designed specifically to target dry eye symptoms. It’s not just any fish oil; it’s a carefully balanced blend that supports your eyes and overall health.

So, if you’re thinking about giving Omega-3s a try for your dry eyes, or just for a health boost in general, Lacritec might be a good place to start. And of course, if you’ve got questions or concerns, pop into Junic Eyecare. We’re here to chat about how you can find the right balance for your health and lifestyle.

If you’d like to learn about more Omega-3 options, watch the following video from Doctor Eye Health.

Junic Eye Care: Additional Therapies for Enhanced Relief

At Junic Eye Care, we go the extra mile to make sure you get the best relief for your dry eyes. We use some modern diagnosis tools like the Oculus 5M to get a super accurate picture of your eye health – precision matters when it comes to your eyes.

Apart the dietary tweaks and Omega-3 supplements we’ve already suggested, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to tackle dry eyes. There’s something called Meibomian Gland Expression – it sounds fancy but it just means we help your eyes produce more of those natural oils that keep them moist. Plus, we’ve got comfy Bruder eye masks that bring relief with a touch of warmth. And then there’s Blephex debridement, which basically cleans up your eyelids by getting rid of gunk and other stuff that doesn’t belong there.

Our aim? To make sure your eyes feel comfy and your vision is crystal clear. So, if you’re tired of dealing with dry eyes, we’ve got you covered with a combo of dietary advice, Omega-3 goodness, and these fantastic therapies to keep your eyes in top shape.

 

Making Lifestyle Adjustments for Eye Health

Now, let’s talk about some easy lifestyle adjustments you can make to boost your eye health alongside those dietary changes.

First off, stay hydrated! It might sound simple, but drinking enough water helps maintain the moisture balance in your eyes. So, keep that water bottle handy.

Next, remember to take regular breaks from your screens. We get it, life can be pretty digital these days, but your eyes need a breather. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away. It’s a mini eye workout!

Oh, and don’t forget those sunglasses when you’re out and about in the Canberra sunshine. They’ll not only protect the surface of your eyes from wind and dust but also protect them from harmful UV rays.

Lastly, a balanced diet doesn’t just include Omega-3s. Foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as zinc, can also be eye-friendly. Think colorful fruits and veggies, nuts, and whole grains.

So, along with some tasty Omega-3-rich foods, these simple lifestyle tweaks can add up to big improvements in your eye health. We’re here to help you see your world in the clearest, most comfortable way possible.

Omega 3 supplements for dry eyes
Omega 3 fish oil capsules for dry eye syndrome

Regular Check-ups and Professional Guidance

Now, I can’t stress this enough – regular eye check-ups and expert guidance can make a world of difference in managing your dry eye symptoms. At Junic Eyecare, we’re here to be your eye health allies.

Booking regular eye exams with us is like giving your eyes a spa day. Our team of experienced optometrists will carefully assess your eye health, including checking for any signs of dry eye syndrome. These exams are your proactive step in catching and addressing eye issues early on.

But that’s not all – we’re not just here to check your eyes and send you on your way. We provide tailored recommendations and solutions to suit your unique needs. Whether it’s dietary advice, lifestyle adjustments, or specific treatments, we’ve got you covered.

So, why wait until your eyes feel like sandpaper? Schedule a visit with us at Junic Eyecare, and let’s keep your peepers feeling fresh, comfortable, and healthy.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to take Omega-3 fish oil everyday?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the recommended safe daily intake of fish oil supplements is up to 3 grams. To put this into perspective, it’s roughly equivalent to around six standard fish oil capsules, each containing 500 milligrams of fish oil.

Who should not take Omega-3 oil?

Before considering fish oil supplements, consult your doctor, especially if you’re on medication (particularly blood thinners), have underlying health conditions, use hormonal medications, or consume more than two alcoholic drinks daily, as these factors may interact with or affect the suitability of fish oil supplementation.

Is it better to take fish oil at night or in the morning?

Fish oil supplements, containing Omega-3 fatty acids, offer long-term health benefits rather than immediate results, so there’s no specific timing required for optimal effectiveness. To maximize benefits, take fish oil consistently with food, at a convenient time.

Besides the eyes, which organs does Omega-3 help?

Omega-3 fatty acids, a form of polyunsaturated fat present in foods and supplements, play a vital role in cell membrane composition, cell receptor function, and various bodily processes, including blood clot regulation and inflammation reduction. These essential fatty acids have diverse health benefits, contributing to lung, heart, brain, and blood vessel health.

How should Omega-3 fish capsules be stored?

Storing your fish oil capsule supplement in an airtight container is crucial to prevent oxidation. After opening, refrigeration is recommended as factors like light exposure and higher temperatures can cause fish oil to deteriorate, spoil, or become rancid more quickly due to chemical reactions with oxygen.

 

Conclusion and Call to Action

So there you have it! We’ve uncovered one of the secrets to soothing those irritating dry eyes, and it’s not as tricky as you might think. The first step is to recognize that dry eyes are more than just a minor annoyance, especially here in Canberra where our unique climate can make things even tougher.

Now, it’s true that Omega-3 fish oil can be your eye’s best friend in this battle. It’s like a soothing balm for those scratchy peepers. But remember, this is general advice we’re dishing out here. For a personalized plan tailored just for you, it’s always a smart move to chat with a dietician.

Remember, managing dry eyes and keeping your overall health in check is within your grasp. Take action today by booking a comprehensive dry eye assessment at Junic Eyecare. Our team of expert optometrists is here to provide down-to-earth guidance and treatments that will leave your eyes feeling fresh, comfy, and healthy.

Don’t wait; your eyes deserve some TLC!

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.