A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Eye Health: A summer of sports can be fun, but dangerous without protective eyewear

Even though there are no flying objects involved, swimming can also be dangerous for the eyes without proper protective goggles. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   With just a few weeks left in the school year, do you have visions of ballparks in your future? With two young sons, we basically spend the summer months watching baseball. While I enjoy...

Eye Health: Not happy with your eyelashes? Seven natural ways to help lengthen them

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   My sons have the longest, thickest eyelashes and I’m not sure they fully appreciate how much their lashes accentuate their eyes. How do you feel about your lashes? A lot of women, in particular, don’t love theirs. Don’t give up, though, there are natural ways to enhance lashes.   (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) Here are seven tips:   1....

Eye Health: Pain-free LASIK surgery is often best, most common solution for poor vision

LASIK surgery involves a tiny laser cut of the cornea to create a flap that is then repositioned changing the curvature of the eye. In the top image the cornea before LASIK is rounded which distorts the image the eye sees. In the bottom image, the corneal flap is flattened so there is less distortion of image. (Photo from U.S. National Library of Medicine)   By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Are...

Eye Health: If you’re ‘seeing red’ from red bloodshot eyes, it may be time to see doctor

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   It’s likely you have experienced red, bloodshot eyes a time or two. But, do you know what causes them?   One common cause of red eyes is conjunctivitis. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) Red eyes occur when the blood vessels on the sclera, or white outer surface of the eye, are swollen or dilated.   Some instances of red eye produce no irritation,...

Eye Health: Don’t get so carried away by the spring sunshine that you forget eye protection

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   With the winter that’s being experienced across the U.S., there’s no doubt we are eager to spend time outside this spring and summer. While the sun will be a welcome sight, I want you to be sure to protect your eyes from UV rays.   The sun can cause many eye issues, one of which is Pinguecula. Pinguecula is a yellowish, slightly raised thickening...

Eye Health: Squinting, pain, even headaches from light can mean presence of infection

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   What does it mean when light bothers your eyes? From sunlight to florescent and incandescent lighting, do you squint, feel pain or experience headaches? If so, you may be suffering from photophobia or light sensitivity.   People with lighter eye color may experience more light sensitivity. Dark-colored eyes contain more pigment to protect against...

Eye Health: Temporary disturbances in vision may frighten, but they are usually harmless

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Do you suffer from migraines? I know so many of my patients have traditional migraines as well as ocular migraines.   An ocular migraine is a painless, temporary visual disturbance in one or both eyes. Ocular migraines can be frightening, but they are harmless and usually go away without medication in about 20-30 minutes.   An ocular migraine...

Eye Health: Sometimes the very things we think help us in winter can also cause us harm

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   What causes eye twitches?   Winter is in full swing. The dreary weather has likely brought stress and tiredness, so that morning cup of java is likely what you count on to keep warm and energized. However, eye twitches, eyelid tics and spasms are frequently caused by some of the things we use to keep our eyes open.   An eye twitch is caused...

Eye Health: Computer eye strain affects millions of Americans, including children

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   If you spend all day at a computer, watch out for CVS or computer eye strain.   With the workload that typically comes with a new year, I bet you have been spending extra time in front of a computer. What you may not know is computer eye strain affects more than 70 percent of the approximately 143 million Americans, including children, who work...

Eye Health: New toys from Santa? Here are a few eye safety tips every parent should know

By Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Is your house filled with new toys after Christmas? As a mom of two young sons, my living room is a combination of guns, balls, cars and Legos. While all of these are fun and can keep kids occupied for hours, some toys pose a serious risk for eye injuries.   Aerosol string is one of several toys that can cause eye injuries. (Photo from AllAboutVision.com) According...

2013 Review: A salute to our faithful, interesting stable of regular columnists

KyForward is celebrating its third end-of-year review with you, happy that we can revisit an abundance of rich, deep content by writers who share their experiences and expertise on a regular basis. These fine writers have helped us accomplish one of our primary goals when KyForward was created – to provide a forum for a variety of voices on a wide and deep range of subjects that inform and entertain...

Eye Health: Seven tips for making better care of eyes part of your New Year’s resolutions

Taking care of your eyes should be on your ‘to-do’ list for 2014. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Are you planning your New Year’s resolutions? In addition to the most common ones of eating healthier, working out and spending money wiser, will you be resolving to take better care of your eyes? I hope so! Here are seven tips to ensure...

Eye Health: Don’t forget sunglasses in winter; the harmful effects of UV radiation still apply

Don’t leave your sunglasses home on the bed when heading out into winter. Even overcast days contain harmful UV rays and eyes need protection. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Coat – check. Gloves – check. UV protection – maybe not. Just because it is winter does not mean you can stop thinking about UV protection for your eyes.   We...

Eye Health: Books blurry? Trouble threading a needle? Happens to everyone over age 40

(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Are books looking blurry? How about computer screens? The issue could be more than just needing a good night’s rest.   Presbyopia usually occurs beginning at around age 40, when people experience blurred near vision when reading, sewing or working at the computer.   Even if you’ve never had vision problems,...

Eye Health: November is American Diabetes Month; routine eye exams can reveal disease

Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Chances are likely that you know at least one person who has Diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month and I have, like many of you, several family and friends who are afflicted by this disease.   I have found diabetic changes in several of my patients just through routine eye exams – and the catch sometimes – is they had no idea that...

Eye Health: Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40

Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   Do you know the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40? This condition is also the principal cause of blindness. Glaucoma? No. It’s cataracts.   Magnified view of a cataract in the human eye (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) Prevent Blindness America reports there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular...

Eye Health: Vision changes after age 40 can’t be prevented or cured but can be managed

Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   When you hit 40, more than your weight and memory can go haywire. I remember the day I started holding the newspaper and menus farther away to read them. As an optometrist, I knew why this was happening… it didn’t make me happy, but at least I understood why. For a lot of people, the sudden changes in vision cause feelings of confusion and they often...

Eye Health: Children playing sports need protective eyewear as much as helmets, pads

Dr. Dawn Stratton KyForward columnist   My sons are in the middle of fall baseball season. While I have seen plenty of pitches and outs, I have not seen a lot of protective eyewear on the field. The statistics prove there should be:   • Emergency rooms treat more than 40,000 eye injuries every year that are sports-related; 25,000 of these injuries happen to children. (Prevent Blindness...