Only 5% of people wash their hands properly according to a study published in 2013 involving over 3,700 people. Even worse, up to 50% of contact lens wearers outright disregard or do not properly wash their hands when they handle contacts DESPITE instruction by their eye doctor according to a 2018 clinical study. Poor hand hygiene is a risk factor for eye infections and inflammation according to studies published in 2008, 2009 and 2017. Regular, proper handwashing protects against bacterial infection of the eyes for contact lens wearers.
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Why is a yearly eye exam as well as a visual skills exam potentially so important for students as they enter a new school year? Over the next couple of weeks we will look at well-designed clinical studies to help us understand the importance of vision, which includes eyesight and visual skills, in learning.
We will start with this recent finding. In a study involving students who werealready diagnosed with a visual skills problem, their top 5 most frequent complaints were:
loss of place while reading
needing to re-read
loss of concentration
trouble remembering what was read.
Does your child exhibit any of those five symptoms? If so, then maybe it’s due to an undiagnosed visual skills problem. A yearly exam is a good place to start, but yearly eye exams do not check for the visual skills problems that can cause those symptoms. Schedule a visual skills exam in addition to the yearly eye exam.
Recent research indicates that eating two weekly servings of oily fish may help prevent or delay diabetes in the eyes and lower heart disease risk in people age 55 years and older who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Parents should find this next post interesting. A new study involving adolescents reported 12 cases of newly developed eye-turn due to excessive smartphone use. The study also reported a significant improvement in the eye-turn after decreasing smartphone use. This is a rare condition and is a diagnosis of exclusion. The authors of the study believed that poor near visual skills may have contributed to these 12 adolescents being more susceptible to developing an eye-turn.
Smartphone use is becoming more common. 64% of American adults now own a smartphone compared to 35% in 2011. 73% of teens have access to smartphones, and 91% go online via mobile technology daily. Mobile technology is part of the fabric of society, and this is often a good thing. At the same time, there are certain precautions, other than reducing usage time, that should be taken to protect your visual system while making the most of advancing mobile technology.