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Article: Monday Must: Ask An Expert: Dr. Shalini Vettivelu

Monday Must: Ask An Expert: Dr. Shalini Vettivelu

This week we have Dr. Shalini Vettivelu as our expert on the blog. Shalini is an Optometrist. She detects and treats eye diseases; she strives to proved her patients with their best vision. Dr.Vettivelu is passionate about educating people and engage them to become proactive about their ocular health and well-being.

She is happy to discuss about anything involving your eyes including issues with vision, eye diseases, ocular beauty products, Laser surgeries, children’s visual development and ocular nutritions. Today she answers a few questions we got from our community.

Can your eyes get worse from too much screen time? If so, any ways to prevent it?

An unbalanced time at near compared to distance can certainly push someone’s prescription to more nearsightedness. This is especially the case in children. Screen time is very challenging to avoid for most of us whether it's online school or having a desk job. The key is balance. So take that walk outdoors and be more mindful of your world at long distance - pay attention to the details in the horizon, the trees and the birds. If you notice your eyes are tired after a long day on the screen, then see your Eye Doctor about a pair of computer glasses. It will likely be a mild prescription that is only used for any work that is arm length or closer. Other tips, have a larger computer screen that can sit further away from you. Instead of watching an entire movie on your cell phone, watch the movie on a larger TV screen.

Is there anything I should know about toddler/child eye health?

A great question!

UV protection: Wearing sunglasses at an early age can prevent a significant amount of the sun damage a person takes in their lifetime. The lens behind our eyes is crystal clear as children which means their eyes let in a lot more UV than adult eyes. The sun increases a person’s risk of potentially blinding diseases like macular degenerations and malignant lesions in and around the eyes.

Avoid screen time: Prolonged screen time means less time that your child is interacting with others and exploring the world which is so important for their brain development.

Play outdoors: Studies consistently show that children who spend at least an hour playing outdoors (in addition to recess at school) are significantly less likely to need glasses distance.

Nutrition: A balanced diet with Omega 3’s (avocado, salmon, chia seeds), Beta-carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes), lutein and zeaxanthin (green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach)

Why is Latisse allowed?! I was an EyeEnvy user and I had a ton of side effects (darkened eyelid, inflammation, dry eyes). My optometrist was shocked at the change in my eye health. I found out later that EyeEnvy had unlisted ingredients, which were the same as prescription Latisse!

The active ingredient in eyelash serums like EyeEnvy and Lattise is a medication called bimatoprost 0.03% which is used to treat glaucoma. Bimatoprost does a great job of lowering the eye pressure but it also has side effects including:

Lash growth

Change in iris colour

Darkening of the skin around the eyes

Unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t require companies to show the safety profile of every single ingredient in makeup. This is why it is always so important to do your own research when trying makeup products and doing a patch test on the thin skin at the crook of your elbow.

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