What Is Eye Fatigue?
Your eyes might get tired quickly if you stare for long periods at a computer, smartphone or game console. The eye doctor might call this computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. It affects most people who use one. Some estimates say computer-related eye symptoms may be responsible for up to 10 million eye doctor visits a year. The problem is expected to grow as more people use smartphones and other handheld digital devices. You hold this kind of device closer to your eyes than a book or newspaper. That forces your eyes to work harder than usual as they strain to focus on small words.
Digital devices may also be linked to eye fatigue because you tend to blink less often when looking at a computer screen. People usually blink about 18 times a minute which naturally refreshes the eyes. But studies suggest that people only blink about half as often while looking at a computer or other digital device, and can result in dry, tired, itchy and burning eyes.
What Causes It?
Anything that requires intense eye use can cause fatigue. Some of the most common are:
If you look at a bright light or spend time in a place that’s too dim, it can also tire your peepers.
What are the Symptoms?
Be on the lookout for:
- Sore or irritated eyes
- Trouble focusing
- Dry or watery eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Pain in the neck, shoulders or back
These symptoms can lower your productivity. If you stay awake long hours working, you can make the problem worse. Sleep refreshes your eye with essential nutrients. Lack of sleep may lead to repeated eye irritation.
How Can You Prevent Eye Fatigue?
Make some simple changes!
Your work habits:
- Try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Post a note that says “Blink” on your computer as a reminder.
- Take regular breaks from computer work.
Your eye-care routine:
- Apply a washcloth soaked in warm water to tired, dry eyes (keep your eyes closed).
- Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
- To help prevent dry eyes while indoors, use an air cleaner to filter dust and a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
If you have eye fatigue or pain, see an eye doctor to make sure a broader medical condition isn’t to blame.
If the problem doesn’t go away, make an appointment for a full eye exam. The doctor can make sure your symptoms aren’t linked to a problem like an eye muscle imbalance. He can also tell if your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date and suitable for computer use.
If you are interested in vision screening or have questions, contact our vision center today!
Brush and Floss your Teeth Twice a Day
According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, participants who brushed and flossed on a daily basis had a significantly decreased risk of stroke. Another study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, found a 65% higher risk of developing dementia in participants who did not brush their teeth.
Other benefits include a reduction in gum disease which has been linked to heart disease, tooth loss, and infection. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men and underweight preterm babies of mothers who have gum and tooth disease.
In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. The overall health impact (i.e., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from season to season.
Healthy People Need the Flu Vaccine: Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease which can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia. Even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time or even be hospitalized.
Recommendation: An annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Pregnant women, young children, older people, and people with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications, so getting a yearly flu vaccine is especially important for them.
- Pediatric Deaths—A total of 101 flu-associated deaths in children occurring during the 2016-2017 season have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In past seasons, between 80% and 85% of flu-associated pediatric deaths have occurred in children who had not gotten a flu vaccine that season.
- Hospitalizations and Pneumonia—During the 2015-2016 flu season, the CDC estimated that 310,000 people were hospitalized for flu-related illness. Pneumonia consistently accounts for the overwhelming majority of the combined pneumonia and influenza deaths. In 2013, 53,282 people died from pneumonia and 3,550 people died from influenza (American Lung Association November 2015).
- Is the Flu Vaccine Safe? The flu vaccine is safe, does not cause the flu, and can protect the ones you love! If you are allergic to eggs, the recommendations have been changed so you may now receive the flu vaccine. A flu vaccine is not recommended for people with a life-threatening egg allergy.
Where can you receive the flu vaccine? Your local Family Health Care Pharmacy, Medical Office or Child and Adolescent Health Center (CAHC) will give flu vaccinations—simply walk in and ask for the flu vaccination.
When is the best time to receive the flu vaccine? The best advice is to receive your flu vaccine now so you are protected before the flu season peaks.
Payment for flu vaccine? Your insurance company will be billed for the vaccination or you may pay out of pocket.
Family Health Care (FHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center, has successfully completed a site visit from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), ensuring continued designation from the Federal agency.
HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving health and achieving health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative programs including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) via the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Health Centers designated as Federally Qualified have mandates to be compliant with 19 program requirements in four general areas – need, services, management and finance, and governance. FHC received a score of 19 out of 19, meeting all the requirements and mandates.
“The organization is very proud of its accomplishments. We make quality a top priority. We believe that by participating in both mandatory and voluntary independent reviews places safeguards in our programs, while ensuring that the primary health care being delivered is meeting all requirements and is truly delivering a higher standard of care.”
FHC has provided primary health care services in Northern Michigan for over 50 years and provides care to 30,000 individuals annually in Newaygo, Lake, Wexford and Missaukee counties. Services provided include medical, dental, radiology, lab, pharmacy, vision and behavioral health. FHC also offers primary health care services in three school-based centers located in Grant, White Cloud and Baldwin. Other community services include in home respite and adult senior services, as well as mobile dental and vision care services into schools and day care settings. FHC is also placing Behavioral Health Therapists in public school settings and is currently expanding the program. The organization’s mission is to provide quality, integrated and comprehensive health care services that are accessible to all; with a belief that quality health care is a right for everyone.
Sather continues, “Receiving a score of 19/19 on our recent review from HRSA is indicative of our focus to ensure services are being delivered with the utmost safety and quality in the communities we serve. To date, we are one of two FQHCs in the state to achieve such status and ranking.”
Baldwin Family Health Care (BFHC) is celebrating 50 Years of quality service in underserved areas of West Central Michigan. BFHC was the first Community Health Center in Michigan and the third in the nation, beginning in 1967 with an office in Baldwin, Michigan.
The center helped pioneer the “one stop shopping” for health care by providing medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, radiology, lab and now vision services all under one roof. BFHC has five sites: Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant, McBain and White Cloud; with physical sites in Baldwin, Grant and White Cloud schools.
The Baldwin facility recently completed a major renovation that added a much needed 1,900 square feet.
“The improvement to our Baldwin location allows us to better serve the surrounding communities with more exam rooms, a larger pharmacy and more dental rooms,” said Kathy Sather, President & CEO of Family Health Care. “We are focused on providing the best possible care for those who live and visit our communities.”
With the completion of renovations, the Baldwin facility has also begun to offer extended hours Monday through Friday until 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The community is invited to join BFHC in celebrating its jubilee anniversary with an open house of the newly remodeled facility in Baldwin, located at 1615 Michigan Avenue, on Friday, August 11 starting at 2 p.m. with a ceremony and guest speakers. Following the ceremony will be light refreshments and tours.