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Eye Health & Eye Protection for Equestrians

Dive into an often-overlooked aspect of equestrian safety: eye protection. We're joined by Dr. Lauren Yancey, an ophthalmologist and avid equestrian, who shares her expert insights on the importance of maintaining good eye health both in and out of the saddle.

Eye Protection Insights from an Expert

Dr. Yancey begins by discussing her dual passions: ophthalmology and horses. With over a decade in private practice, specializing in cataract surgery, Dr. Yancey offers a unique perspective on the parallels between high-precision medical procedures and the meticulous nature of horse care.

Why Equestrians Need Eye Protection

One of the key takeaways from the conversation is the critical need for eye protection while riding. Dr. Yancey highlights several risks equestrians might face, including debris, branches on trail rides, and even unexpected accidents like being struck by a horse's tail. These incidents can lead to serious injuries, such as corneal abrasions or infections, emphasizing the need for protective eyewear.

Types of Eye Protection Recommended

Dr. Yancey recommends wearing polycarbonate sunglasses as a basic protective measure. These glasses are not only shatterproof but also provide significant protection from UV rays, which can cause long-term eye damage. For those who need prescription lenses, she suggests considering safety-rated, prescription-compatible options that offer wraparound protection.

The Connection Between Diet, Health, and Eye Safety

Further into the podcast, Dr. Yancey discusses how overall health impacts eye condition. She notes that conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can be observed from changes in the blood vessels in the eyes, showcasing the importance of a healthy diet and regular health screenings for maintaining optimal eye health.

Practical Advice for Daily Eye Care

For equestrians spending long hours outdoors, Dr. Yancey stresses the importance of UV protection. She explains how extended exposure to UV light can exacerbate conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration, making UV-blocking sunglasses a must-have for anyone involved in outdoor activities.

Vision for Riders with Challenges

Addressing equestrians who wear glasses or contacts, Dr. Yancey recommends daily disposable lenses to minimize the risk of infection. For those preferring glasses, she points to sports-specific eyewear that can integrate prescriptions into safety designs.

Watch or listen to Dr. Yancey's episode below! 

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