3 Tips to Reduce Eye Strain

If you read or work on the computer a lot, you know all too well about eye strain. Eye strain is caused when your eyes have to work a lot to view small details. People who work at professions or hobbies that involve lots of close-up work like jewelry-making, stamp collecting, and other things also are vulnerable to eye strain.

Eye strain is a temporary condition, but it can be very uncomfortable. If it’s bad, it can even force you to stop doing your activity until your eyes can rest a while. There are some things you can do to reduce eye strain so that you can continue to be productive.

1. Turn on a Light

If you’re working on a computer or mobile device at night, you can significantly reduce eye strain simply by turning on a light. This decreases the light contrast between the screen light and the surrounding darkness. The light from a small lamp is usually enough to reduce eye strain.

2. Install a Lighting App

Computers and other electronic devices emit blue light. This blue light can cause eye strain and it might even be further harmful after several years of exposure. There are lots of lighting apps that can reduce the blue light coming from your computer screen. Consider investing in one that automatically adjusts according to the light in the room where you’re working. This can significantly reduce eye strain while working on a computer.

3. Use a Magnifying Glass

If you engage in a lot of close-up work like sewing or making jewelry, you can reduce eye strain by using a magnifying glass. This simple solution works by enlarging everything you’re looking at so you don’t have to squint and strain your eyes. Large magnifying lenses on adjustable swivel arms are available online and in hobby stores.

Eye strain isn’t something that you should just live with and ignore. It could have long-term effects on your vision that you aren’t yet aware of. To be sure that your eyes are in the best possible condition, implement these three tips into your daily life. You should also get regular eye exams so your eye doctor can keep track of your eye health over time. To book your appointment now, please contact us.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts are a type of physical condition in the eyes that causes cloudy vision. Left untreated, cataracts can lead to complete blindness. Cataracts form when the cells that form tissue in the lens membrane of the eye overproduces tissue. Cataracts can be removed by a professional eye doctor. If you worry about developing cataracts, here are some important facts to know.

Signs of Cataracts

Cataracts don’t go away on their own; they only grow thicker and larger. It’s important to have your cataracts removed as soon as possible. To do that, you should know the common signs of cataracts. These include:

  • cloudy vision
  • blurred vision
  • increased difficulty seeing at night
  • spotty blurred vision
  • increased glare from oncoming headlamps at night

If you notice one or more of these common signs, consult with your eye doctor.

What Causes Cataracts?

Many people develop cataracts as they get older, although it is not necessarily something that everyone gets. There are elderly people who have never gotten cataracts. Cataracts is not a disease, but cataracts can be a symptom of a disease. Cataracts are formed because the eye lens’ ability to restore itself becomes compromised. This damage can occur because of many things, including eye trauma, radiation, genetics, disease, old age or malnutrition. Of all the possible factors to cause damage, old age and genetic diseases are the only non-preventable factors.


Trauma, such as blunt force to the eyes, can cause the inner fibers of the eye lens to swell and grow and impair the eye’s ability to recover. This sometimes leads to cataract growth. To prevent eye trauma, wear protective eyewear when playing impact sports


Photo radiation from the sun and blue light from electronic devices are the most common cause of cataracts. Help reduce radiation exposure by wearing sunglasses outdoors and limiting your use of electronic devices.


Disease and genetics can set in motion a chain of reactions that leads to cataract growth. Many of these diseases have treatments available to reduce the chance of cataract growth.
Cataracts can be successfully removed, even in patients who are elderly. If you suspect you may be developing cataracts, talk to your eye doctor about treatment options.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?

If you have diabetes, you have a heightened risk for eye diseases and complications than those who don’t have diabetes. However, with regular eye exams, your eye doctor can detect and treat eye problems early, and help to save your vision. Below are the main ways diabetes can impact your vision.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision may indicate that your blood sugar is too high and is unmanaged. When you have high blood sugar, your eye lens may swell, leading to blurry vision and altering your ability to see. Usually, getting your blood sugar back into its targe range can return your vision back to normal.

Diabetic Retinopathy

High blood sugar can damage the very small blood vessels in your retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy. This condition needs to be treated in order to preserve your vision. You are more susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy, the longer you have diabetes and if you don’t keep your blood sugar levels under control. People with diabetic retinopathy can also macular edema, whereby small blood vessels in the retina become leaky and cause the retina to swell.


Anyone can get cataracts, but if you have diabetes, you’re at risk of developing them earlier and they could worsen more quickly. Cataracts cause your vision to look cloudy as if you were looking through a smudged or dirty window.


When the fluid in your eye is unable to drain as it should, pressure builds up, which can damage the blood vessels and nerves in your eyes. Over time, this can lead to loss of vision, usually beginning in the peripheral vision. Eye care professionals can screen for glaucoma, and if detected, can treat it to help to preserve your vision. While glaucoma can lead to blindness, proper and diligent treatment can halt the disease or slow down its progression.

If you have diabetes or were recently diagnosed with the condition, contact us here at McPherson Optometry in North Syracuse for an eye exam and screening for eye complications related to diabetes. We use advanced, state-of-the-art optometric and diagnostic equipment to give you the level of care you and your vision deserves. Call us at (315) 458-1000 or complete our online form.

The Importance of Sunglasses in the Summer

The UV rays during the hottest months of the year are not merely irritating to your eyes, they can be downright destructive to them. When summer rolls around, the sun and its rays are literally at their worst, which is why you need to start seeing your sunglasses as more than the perfect complement to your outfit.

Reduce Your Odds

Because your DNA is not quite like the DNA of anyone else, there are few guarantees when it comes to eye-related diseases. However, you’re doing a wealth of good for your eyes when it comes to prevention:

  • Cancer: UV protection starts with the tissue-thin skin over your eyes. Your eyelids are difficult to protect with sunblock and yet still susceptible to skin cancer. This cancer can be spread to the rest of the body if it goes undetected for too long. If you’re out in the sun for long periods of time, your sunglasses will do the work that your sunscreen can’t.
  • Cataracts: From diabetes to unfortunate genetics, there are a number of reasons why a person might develop cataracts. But one overlooked reason for the formation of cataracts is sun exposure. According to a study that was partially funded by the National Eye Institute, there is evidence to suggest that sunglasses could help prevent this condition. Cataracts may lead to blindness, so everyone should take the precaution of wearing sunglasses (it’s certainly one of the easier measures you can take)!

Cornea and Retina Protection

The retina and the cornea work together to transmit light and shapes to create what you see. The cornea is a membrane and acts as a protector for the retina by filtering everything from light to dust. It is possible for the cornea to develop a sunburn or serious inflammation due to the sun. Keeping UV lights out of the cornea can help it remain strong for the retina. Sunglasses may also be able to stave off macular degeneration to the retina, allowing you to retain your field of vision for as long as possible.

While all sunglasses provide some degree of protection, it’s important to find a pair with the best possible safeguards for you. If you have questions, McPherson Optometry, P.C. may be able to help. Contact us today if you would like to schedule an appointment!

What Are Ocular Migraines?

An ocular migraine is a frightening condition that can leave you with temporary vision loss in one eye. It is sometimes referred to as a retinal migraine. Although some people also use the term “ocular migraine” to refer to visual migraines, the two conditions are not the same. Visual migraines affect both eyes, typically only last about 30 minutes and are much more common than true ocular migraines. In fact, about 20 percent of all migraines occur with auras.

woman suffering from ocular migraines

On the other hand, true retinal migraines typically affect a single eye for about an hour and are much rarer. Only about one out of every 200 people who have migraines will be affected by this condition. If you are unsure whether or not you are having an ocular (retinal) or visual migraine, cover one eye at a time. If you notice that the symptoms are only in a single eye, you are experiencing an ocular migraine.

Symptoms of Ocular Migraines

Some of the symptoms of an ocular migraine include seeing flashes of lights, floating lines and zigzag patterns. You may also experience spots that may cause partial to complete temporary blindness. These symptoms may occur at the same time as or after a migraine headache, which will typically be felt behind the eye in which you are noticing symptoms.

The exact cause of migraines is not known, but it is believed that they may be the result of spasms in your blood vessels. In ocular migraines, the reduction in blood flow occurs in the retina. For visual migraines, the change occurs in the blood flow to the occipital lobe or visual cortex, which is the area of your brain that is responsible for vision. Because visual migraines are a result of an issue occurring in the brain, you will still have symptoms even if you close your eyes, which is not true in the case of ocular migraines.

The loss of vision in one eye can also be a symptom of other serious conditions, such as a retinal detachment, so it is very important to consult with an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Eye Health for College Students

Most college students keep such busy schedules that it’s easy for them to overlook issues such as eye health, and many of them believe themselves to be too young to give potential eye problems serious consideration. However, eye problems can affect those of all ages and all walks of life, and students may be particularly vulnerable because of the amount of time they spend studying and otherwise interacting with books, digital screens, and other study aids. Following are three things about maintaining optimal eye health that all college students should know about.

Screen Strain is Real

Digital eye strain is one of the leading causes of vision problems in college students. Most fail to give themselves enough breaks when using digital study materials, which leads to the eyes becoming overly dried out. Because this results in blurred vision as well as eye pain and irritation, students are advised to look away from their screens for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes during study marathons. You might also consider using screens designed to minimize eye strain and alternating digital and traditional study materials.

Clean Contacts Matter

College students also may neglect to pay proper attention to cleaning and maintaining their contact lenses. Dirty contact lenses potentially cause eyes infections. To avoid this, avoid falling asleep with your lenses in, and always wash your hands thoroughly when removing and putting them in. Don’t shower while wearing them, and make sure to clean them regularly.

Sports Injuries Affect Eyes Too

Most people think of sports injuries as involving legs, backs, and arms, but they affect the eyes as well. College students who engage in sports should always ensure that they’re wearing adequate eye protection. Sports-related eye injuries have the potential to impact your eyesight for the rest of your life negatively. It’s a good idea to use appropriate eye protection even when you’re simply riding your bicycle across campus or around town.

Please reach out to us at your convenience if you’d like more information on taking the best possible care of your eyes no matter what stage of life you’re in.

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