The Most Common Eye Conditions in Each Climate
Most people looking for an eye doctor at our Hagerstown, Chambersburg, or Waynesboro locations are seeking treatment for conditions they assume are primarily a result of age or genetics. But many patients are surprised to find out that geographic location can also play a role in the eye conditions you’re most likely to develop, and our East Coast community is no exception.
While some vision problems can affect people across all socioeconomic levels, genders, races, and ages, researchers have found that certain climates can make specific eye conditions more common. In this blog post, we will examine 4 different environments and what eye doctors in those areas commonly treat. If you live in or are planning to travel to one of these areas soon, we hope this will give you some insight into what to look out for and how to take action should you notice symptoms.
Low Levels of Sunlight
Studies have found that raised levels of myopia (near-sightedness) may be connected to a lack of exposure to direct sunlight, especially among children, teens, and young adults.(i)* This can happen year-round if you don’t spend enough time outside, but it is especially common in areas that have short days with little sunshine, such as Alaska in the winter months. Myopia can affect activities like driving and is treated with corrective lenses or LASIK surgery.
Air with low levels of humidity can lead to moisture evaporating from the eyes faster than they can replace it (dry eye syndrome). This can cause excessive watering, as well as a general irritation or grittiness.(ii)*
Lovers of the outdoors should seek dry eye treatment sooner rather than later as dry eye side effects can greatly hinder the time spent outside. Our practice specializes in dry eye treatment. At any of our 3 office locations, we can provide relief and prevention options from medications to goggles that will keep you out in the open air for as long as you would like to be.
Too Much Sunlight
Excessive exposure to UV light, which can happen during a day at the beach without eye protection, can lead to several eye conditions. One of the most common is photokeratitis, which is an inflammation or swelling of the cornea. Symptoms include blurred vision, light sensitivity, or general pain. Though it is usually temporary, this condition requires treatment. Excessive UV exposure can also speed up the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye-related conditions.(iii)*
Higher altitudes come with reduced oxygen supply conditions. This can speed up the development of eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration, which involves a breakdown of the central part of the retina responsible for allowing detailed central vision.(iv)* Keeping up with regular visits to your eye doctor is a great way to stay on top of any new developments and treat them as early on as possible.
For tips on how to protect your eyes from harmful conditions or to get answers about treatment options from an eye doctor in Hagerstown, Chambersburg, or Waynesboro, contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our 3 convenient Ludwick Eye Center locations.