News & Promotions

Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays
May 23, 2017
We’re all aware that too much sun can cause skin cancer, but did you know the sun’s ultraviole...

Video Education Library

We’re all aware that too much sun can cause skin cancer, but did you know the sun’s ultraviolet rays can also do lasting damage to your eyes?

That’s why it’s important for everyone to wear sunglasses and other lenses that block UV rays.

What is Ultraviolet Light?

UV radiation refers to the invisible rays that come from the sun and can harm our eyesight. Most notably, these rays are UVA and UVB.

UVA rays can hurt your central vision by damaging the lens and retina, which can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. UVB rays can damage the front part of your eye, possibly leading to growths on the eye surface and causing corneal issues and distorted vision.

UV rays can come from many directions. They radiate directly from the sun, but they also are reflected from the ground, water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces. These rays can affect your eyes even when it’s cloudy.

These are some of the problems caused by UV rays:

  • Macular Degeneration, which is a loss of central vision.
  • Cataracts, which blur your eye’s lens and cause cloudy vision.
  • Pterygium, a growth of pink, fleshly tissue that begins on the white of the eye.
  • Photokeratitis, or “Sunburn of the eye,” which causes red eyes, sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.

The longer your eyes are exposed to solar radiation, the greater the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life. That’s why it’s important for adults and children to wear sunglasses with up to 100% UV protection. And if you wear regular glasses or contacts, those lenses should have UV protection as well.

Preventing the damaging effects of ultraviolet light is simple. First and foremost, you should limit your exposure to the sun, and when you are in the sun you should wear proper eye protection and a broad-brimmed hat to block the sun’s rays from your eyes as much as possible.

Eyewear created to block UV rays gives you the most protection. All types of eyewear - including prescription and non-prescription glasses, contact lenses and lens implants - should block UVA and UVB rays.

Children and teenagers are at special risk from the harmful effects of UV rays, since their eyes do not have the same ability as adults to filter out some UV radiation. They also often spend more time outside than adults. Parents should teach kids the importance of wearing sunglasses and hats to block the sun’s rays. And any glasses they wear should be designed to block UV rays and glare.

You should choose sunglasses that:

  • Block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Are polarized to reduce glare and brightness.
  • Are impact-resistant to further protect your eyes.
  • Are comfortable to wear.
  • Do not distort colors.

Things to consider when buying eyewear for outdoor activities:

  • Wraparound frames provide more sun protection and can help block wind and debris.
  • Lenses made from polycarbonate material are more impact-resistant and are lighter weight.
  • Color makes a difference. Gray or green lenses are good for bright conditions, while yellow, amber or orange-red tints can increase contrast and clarity. The color you choose depends on your needs.
  • Adding polarization to your lenses reduces glare and filters haze.

Come in and talk to us. We want to help you find the lenses that are right for your needs and to make sure your eyes get the ultimate protection.

As the saying goes, “Women are so busy taking care of their families, their jobs, and their lives that they don’t always have time to think about their own health.” This is certainly true when it comes to their eye health.

A woman may take her child for a pediatric checkup that includes a vision screening, make sure her mother gets treatment for macular degeneration, and then neglect her own needs.

But it’s important to take care of your own eye health.

We recommend women get an annual eye exam to help prevent vision loss. There are eye diseases you may be prone to because of heredity (like glaucoma), diabetes (retinopathy and cataracts), or aging (such as age-related macular degeneration). It’s important to detect these issues early.

Here are some things that can affect women:

  • Pregnancy: Dry eye syndrome, light sensitivity, prescription changes, and eye puffiness are the most common. Higher blood pressure during pregnancy can cause blurry vision and retinal detachment.
  • Birth control: Hormone changes can cause dry eye.
  • Menopause: Dry eye syndrome and eye inflammation are most common.
  • Breast cancer: Drugs taken to treat or prevent breast cancer can increase your risk of cataracts, eye bleeds, itchy eyes, and light sensitivity.

There are a variety of things women can do to reduce the risk of getting eye diseases and improve their health.

- Don’t smoke. The most important risk factor under your control is the decision not to smoke. There is strong evidence that smoking is a causative factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes leafy green vegetables, oily fish, and fruits. Vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are important. Also remember to drink plenty of water, keep your diet low in sodium and caffeine and eat reasonably sized portions.

- Exercise aids in maintaining a healthy weight and good cardiovascular health. Obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can lead to specific vision complications like hypertensive retinopathy.

- Control your diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause permanent eye damage. Diabetes often leads to retinopathy and cataracts.

- Wear sunglasses with UV protection. They can slow the progression rate of cataracts. Wear a brimmed hat when you go out in the sun for even more protection.

- Educate yourself about the possibility of a family history of eye disease. This is particularly true for glaucoma, which has no warning signs and does its damage silently. The damage from glaucoma is mostly avoidable, if the disease is noticed early.

Taking the necessary steps today will provide your eyes with a brighter and clearer future. Keep in mind that most vision loss is either preventable or treatable – if the disease is diagnosed in a timely manner.

Sensity light-reactive lenses adapt to their surroundings so your eyes don’t have to: they darken to sunglasses outdoors and quickly fade back to full clarity indoors. So whatever your day looks like, you’ll always have a solution at hand.

Sensity light-reactive lenses:

  • Give you comfortable vision in all light conditions
  • Perform consistently in all climates, seasons and circumstances
  • Darken swiftly to sunglasses outdoors
  • Fade quickly back to full clarity indoors
  • Provide 100% protection against UV-A and UV-B rays
  • Are available in three stylish colours: bronze brown, silver grey and green

At some point, you might be the victim of this scenario: You rub your eye really hard, or walk into something, or just wake up with a red, painful, swollen eye. However it happened, your eye is red, you’re possibly in pain, and you’re worried.

What do you do next?

Going to the Emergency Room is probably not your best bet.

Your first reaction should be to go see the eye doctor.

There are many causes for a red eye, especially a non-painful red eye. Most are relatively benign and may resolve on their own, even without treatment.

Case in point: Everyone fears the dreaded “pink eye,” which is really just a colloquial term for conjunctivitis, an inflammation or infection of the clear translucent layer (conjunctiva) overlying the white part (sclera) of our eye. Most cases are viral, which is kind of like having a cold in your eye (and we all know there is no cure for the common cold).

Going to the ER likely means you’re going to be prescribed antibiotic drops, which DO NOT treat viral eye infections. Your eye doctor may be able to differentiate if the conjunctivitis is viral or bacterial and you can be treated accordingly.

Another problem with going to the ER for your eye problem is that some Emergency Rooms are not equipped with the same instruments that your eye doctor’s office has, or the ER docs may not be well versed in utilizing the equipment they do have.

The primary instrument that your eye doctor uses to examine your eye is called a slit lamp and the best way to diagnose your red eye is a thorough examination with a slit lamp.

Some eye conditions that cause red eyes require steroid drops for treatment. NO ONE should be prescribing steroids without looking at the eye under a slit lamp. If given a steroid for certain eye conditions that may cause a red eye (such as a Herpes infection), the problem can be made much worse.

Bottom line: If you have an eye problem, see an eye doctor.

Going to the ER with an eye problem can result in long periods of waiting time. Remember, you are there along with people having heart attacks, strokes, bad motor vehicle accidents and the like; sometimes “my eye is red” doesn’t get the highest priority.

Whenever you have a sudden problem with your eye your first move should be to pick up the phone and call an eye doctor. Most eye doctor offices have an emergency phone number in case these problems arise, and again, if there is no pain or vision loss associated with the red eye, it is likely not an emergency.

 

Article contributed by Dr. Jonathan Gerard

The effects of mobile computing on health

Our world has been inundated with mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and portable gaming systems are used daily. The proliferation of these electronic devices has been interwoven into the fabric of our society, transforming our culture into an always connected global community.

Smartphones, computer screens, tablets and most other back-lit devices emit High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) radiation and while these connected devices have made our lives easier, the daily use of these digital experiences may cause health risks.

Healthy human beings are born with natural defenses to this type of light. However, the aging process can deteriorate our ability to adequately deal with excessive or accumulated exposure.

What are the strategies to protect against the modern bombardment of blue light?

The easy answer would be to forsake all modern conveniences and return to a simpler way of life free from the electronic trappings of the 21st century, but for those not willing to part with their beloved devices, try HOYA’s solution, the new lens treatment Recharge.

This ophthalmic lens treatment provides a measure of health protection against the harmful effects of blue light. It also provides improved contrast and visual comfort when viewing digital back-lit devices. In addition to these benefits, Recharge reduces glare and reflections and provides superior scratch resistance.

The most effective way to reduce blue light exposure is to limit the daily use of digital devices. However, Recharge can help to reduce long-term accumulation of HEVL and the health risks associated with this new digital age, especially when complemented by special lens designs like Hoyalux TACT, ideal for office and computer work or Nulux Active 8 for active lifestyles in a media driven world.

More people than ever before are consulting their eye doctors about eye strain while viewing things up close for fairly prolong periods amount of time. And it is not only adult office workers, but the young are now complaining vision problems from working on computers, using hand held devices and texting on their cell phones.

If you spend a fair amount of time looking at a digital device screen you would most likely most benefit from specially designed reading glasses or possibly computer glasses. Prescription reading glasses are designed to focus at a certain distance up close and can be prescribed for any age to help enhanced reading comfort.

On the other hand, computer glasses maybe a better choice for adults. Computer glasses provide multiple focal lengths which allow users to focus at multiple ranges within lengths arms reach. This kind of versatility can reduce computer eye strain while enhancing concentration.

Before your next eye appointment you will need to measure the distance from the bridge of your nose to the screen for all of the devices that you typically use. Take that list with you to your next eye doctor appointment.

If you are a good candidate, your eye doctor can utilize this list to prescribe personalized reading glasses or computer glasses to relieve eye strain associated with close range viewing.

The colored part of the eye is called the iris. It is composed of two muscles. The constrictor and the dilator. The black circle at the center of the iris is called the pupil and is actually just an opening to allow light into the eye. The pupil appears black because the inside of the eye contains pigment to absorb all of the light that enters it, not allowing any of it to reflect back out.

When light enters your eye there is a muscular reflex in your iris to regulate the amount of light that hits the retina. Too much light and constrict muscles tighten to making your pupil smaller to limit the amount of light entering your eye. Not enough light and the dilator muscles contract allowing your pupil to get bigger.

During a comprehension eye exam, your eye doctor might want to dilate your pupils to evaluate the back of each eye under high magnification. Without dilation, the bright exam light automatically causes your pupils to constrict, making a much smaller opening to look through.

Dilating drops cause your pupils to enlarge by inhibiting the constrictor muscles from reacting to light., then the doctor can use a bright exam light combine with a magnification lens for an unobstructed view of the internal structure of each eye, including the retina, macula and optic discs.

Dilation drops typically cause blurred near-vision and light sensitivity lasting about 4 to 6 hours. Sunglasses are usually worn afterward to relieve glare discomfort, but you should be safe to drive with caution.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Diabetes is a disease that effects blood vessels throughout the body including the eye. Some of the smallest and most delicate blood vessels in our body are found in the retina. Therefore they are some of the first ones affected by poor blood sugar control.

With diabetes, the blood vessels walls get damaged by chemical reactions caused by high sugar levels in the blood. Blood vessel walls can bulge and then leak causing swelling and hemorrhaging in the eye.

With proper care, diabetic eye disease can be controled allowing vision to be maintained. When diabetic patients fail to take care of their disease and it affects the eyes there can be permenant damage such as decreased vision and even blindness.

Some diabetics never have any eye issues and some have many eye problems. Each patient is different. Fortunately your eye care professional can detect and monitor eye damage and vision changes caused by diabetes.
The good news is there are new and improved medical treatments for those patients who do have diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes you need to keep your sugar levels under control and have regular eye exams.

Make sure you get a yearly comprehensive eye exam by your eye care professional.

Back-to-school season is a great time to schedule an eye appointment.

80% Of Learning Is Visual

It is estimated that 80% of a child’s learning occurs through his or her eyes. That’s right, 80%! Although many schools conduct regular vision screenings, these tests are limited. While vision screenings are good, there is no substitute for a thorough eye exam in order to identify a full spectrum of eye health and vision issues that can impact your child’s ability to learn.

Visual Skills Needed For Success

A comprehensive exam is needed to make sure all of the basic vision skills are functioning properly. Children with untreated vision problems can become frustrated and their academic performance may suffer. Some research suggests that untreated vision problems can even elicit some of the same behaviors as ADHD. Some of the basic visual skills needed at school include:

  • ability to focus the eyes
  • using both eyes together as a team
  • moving eyes effectively
  • recognition – the ability to tell apart letters like “b” and “d”
  • comprehension– picturing in the mind what is happening in a story
  • retention – the ability to remember and recall details of what we read

Good Vision Is Important For School Sports

Along with preparing for new classes, many students are dusting off their cleats and getting ready for school sports. A comprehensive eye exam can examine the visual skills needed for a specific sport, along with providing recommendation for any eye protection that may be required.

Is It Time For Your Student’s Exam?

Comprehensive eye exams are recommended at least once every two years. More frequent visits are recommended if risk factors or specific problems exist, or if recommended by your eye doctor.

Frequency of Examination

Patient Age Examination Interval  
  Asymptomatic/Risk Free At Risk
Birth to 24 Months At 6 months of age At 6 months of age or as recommended
2 to 5 years At 3 years of age At 3 years of age or as recommended
6 to 18 years Before first grade and every two years thereafter Annually or as recommended
18 to 60 years Every two years Every one to two years or as recommended
61 and older Annually Annually or as recommended

Do you have questions about your student's vision? We would love to answer any questions you might have.

Most of us know we should protect our skin with sunblock. But sunblock for your eyes? Yes!

The sun produces a vast amount of electromagnetic radiation, some of which we perceive as light. Just beyond this visible light rays lies the spectrum know as ultra-violet light. UVA and UVB rays are both harmful to our bodies. Not just on hot, clear days but even on overcast days.

These rays can pass through clouds and in the winter your eyes can get sunburned or snow blinded by the UV rays reflected by the snow. This highly charged energy of the UV spectrum can disturb the DNA in the body's cells causing mutations that can result in skin cancer. Similarly excessive long term exposure can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and liaisons on the white of the eyes.

So rub that sunblock on your arms and get a good pair of sunglasses that provide both UVA and UVB protection. Your eyes will thank you.

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve. The disease causes optic nerve damage, which leads to partial or total vision loss. These two types of glaucoma both stem from a problem in the angle between the cornea and iris of the eye. They are called Narrow Angle and Closed Angle Glaucoma.

Narrow Angle glaucoma can develop either quickly or slowly and usually occurs in people with farsightedness. It occurs when the angle narrows causing the aqueous fluid to build up. This narrowing is caused by a bowing of the iris. Narrow Angle glaucoma can only be detected through routine eye examinations. It can cause vision loss and can also lead to an emergency condition called closed angle glaucoma.

Closed angle glaucoma, also called angle closure glaucoma, develops quickly and is a medical emergency. It occurs when the iris bows forward so much that the angle is completely closed. That means that no aqueous fluid can escape, which causes the pressure to build up rapidly. There are many symptoms associated with closed angle glaucoma such as headaches, severe pain, vision loss, redness and nausea. As stated earlier, this is a medical emergency and if not treated immediately can cause severe damage to the optic nerve.

Routine eye examinations are important to detect and monitor glaucoma early. Speak with your eye care provider if you are at risk for glaucoma.

Astigmatism is a refractive error usually caused by an irregular curvature on the surface of the eye. As light enters the eye it is focused on two points instead of a single point needed for clear vision. Normally the curve on the surface of the eye is equal from left to right and from top to bottom, giving the surface of the eye an equally round shape like a ball.

With astigmatism one of these curves is elongated making the surface of the eye oval shaped. This could, for instance, cause the light being refracted by the horizontal axis of the cornea to focus on a different point than the light being refracted by the vertical axis.

This causes two points of focus instead of one. If the points are focused before the retina the astigmatism is considered nearsighted or myoptic. If the points are focused past the retina it is considered farsighted or hyperoptic.

Symptoms of astigmatism include headaches, eye strain and fatigue. Severe astigmatism can cause a blurriness of images at all distances, while milder cases may cause blurriness only at certain distances. If you suspect you are suffering from astigmatism, ask your doctor for advice. Successful corrective measures include contact lens or refractive surgery.

Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, is characterized by tired and sore eyes, headaches, neck and shoulder pain and general body fatigue. It is the number 1 complaint in the workplace and affects everyone who works on a computer.

CVS is brought on by the way the computer screen works. An image on the screen is made up of thousands of tiny colored squares called pixels. These pixels are constantly changing in color and brightness which causes your eyes to refocus. This constant refocusing is what causes the systems of computer vision syndrome.

The only sure fire method to prevent CVS is to wear specialty prescribed computer glasses. These can range from specialized multi-focal lenses to single focal lenses used specifically uses while using the computer.

However, you can also combat the effects of CVS simply by setting up your workspace. Place your computer screen approximately 20 to 40 inches away from your eyes, directly in front of you and position it so there is little to no glare on the screen. Make sure the screen height is setup properly so it can be viewed without looking down or slouching in your chair. Finally a desk lamp maybe used to provide more light without increasing glare.

While proper arrangement of your workspace will help reduce the effects of CVS, you should consult your eye care provider to fully prevent CVS.

Contact lenses are a popular solution for people who need vision correction. However, you need an extensive eye examination to determine what type of contacts will work best for you. Once you receive your contacts it is important to follow proper steps to ensure that your contacts are clear, clean, moist and undamaged.

It is important to develop a routine when preparing and inserting your contacts. First, wash your hands with soap and water and dry them on a lint free towel. Next, rinse your contact lens with the proper solution to make sure it is clean and free of dust. Then, making sure that your finger is dry, place the lens on the tip of your finger and check to see if the lens is inside out.

The lens should appear to have a U shape. If it is a U shape with the top edges flared out, the lens is inside out. If you do apply the lens inside out it will be uncomfortable, but will not cause any damage.

Once the lens is on the tip of your finger properly you are ready to insert it.

Once the contact lens is properly prepared it is time to insert the lens onto your eye.

First, using the middle finger from your non insertion hand, hold the upper eyelid and lashes open to help prevent blinking. Next, with the middle finger of your insertion hand, pull down on your lower eyelid and lashes to open your eye as much as possible. Then, while looking forward, gently place the contact on the front of your eye.

Look left, right and down to center the lens and then gently release your eyelids and blink to further center the contact lens. If the contact is still not centered properly, close your eye and gently massage the lens until the contact is in place.

Repeat this process for your other eye and your contact lenses will be inserted successfully.

So you’ve had your eyes examined and picked out your new frames, and now you have an array of lens options from which to choose. One important option to consider is investing in an Anti-reflective coating, also known as AR coating. This feature has multiple advantages that can benefit almost anyone who wears glasses.

Today’s modern lens materials have a higher refraction index than previous materials did, which means they can produce a stronger prescription with a thinner and lighter piece of lens. The trade-off is that they are more prone to reflection and glare. AR coating will cut the glare, and also some formulations will even strengthen and harden the newer plastic materials.

If you drive at night, you probably have noticed that the headlights of the other cars make it hard to see. An Anti-reflective coating reduces the amount of glare you encounter, enabling you to be a safer night-driver.

AR coatings also benefit computer users. Tests have shown that glare from computer monitors can cause extra vision stress, and add pressure on the eyes. But with Anti-reflective lenses, computer users can work at their monitors with less irritation to their eyes.

Another benefit of AR coatings is that they actually let in more light. You will have better overall vision, with higher contrast and clarity—especially in dim settings.

And let’s not forget to point out that with AR-coated lenses your glasses will look better on you and in photos. Without the glare on the front of your glasses, people will be able to see your eyes more clearly—which is always a good thing!

Talk with your eye care professional to determine which AR lens coatings are best for your lifestyle and your lenses. 

There are two basic types of astigmatism; myopia and hyperopia. These two types affect up to one third of the population and can be treated in a variety of ways from corrective lenses to surgery.

Myopia, or nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back or the shape of the cornea is too steep. This causes the light entering the eye to come to a focus in front of the retina which results in a blurred distance vision.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness is the opposite of myopia. It occurs when the eyeball is slightly shorter than normal, or the shape of the cornea is too flat. This cause the light entering the eye to come to a focus behind the retina, which results in blurred near vision. Distance vision may also be blurred depending on the severity of hyperopia.

Looking for the perfect sunglasses? If you drive or spend time outdoors, polarized lenses can give you clearer vision by enhancing contrast and eliminating glare.

Glare is caused when light bounces off a smooth surface. Problems from glare range from annoyance to eye strain to temporary blindness.

Light vibrates along all axis. But when light strikes a reflecting object, such as water or a highway, a high percent of light waves bounce off in similar horizontal angles.

Polarized lenses contain microscopic vertical lines that effectively cancel out the horizontal waves—thereby reducing glare.

Select a pair of polarized glasses from the display rack. Find a bright glare on the floor, or tabletop. Next, look at the glare through the glasses. The glare is gone. Rotate the glasses sideways while looking at the same glare. Now rotate back. You can clearly see the difference.

By reducing glare, polarized sunglasses will prevent strong light from damaging your eyes, reduce your eye strain, and improve the way you perceive colors and contrast.

Glaucoma, often referred to as “the silent thief of sight”, can occur with no warning signs, pain or symptoms. It affects 3 million people in the United States and has caused blindness in over 120,000 people. Glaucoma cannot be cured, but if detected early can be managed to limit its effects.

Glaucoma usually occurs when there is an increase of pressure within your eye, but can occur with normal eye pressure as well. This pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, which is the weakest part of your eye, leading to decreased peripheral vision and possibly blindness.

Your eye is divided into two chambers, the anterior chamber at the front of the eye, and the posterior chamber at the back. A fluid, called the aqueous humor, is produced by the cilliary body and circulates between the two chambers to clean and nourish your eye. Once it reaches the edge of your iris it leaves the eye through an opening called the trabecular meshwork.

With glaucoma, more fluid is produced than can be removed, which leads to an increase in pressure in the anterior chamber. Eventually the pressure throughout your eye increases, exerting force on the neural fibers of your optic nerve. Over time this causes damage to the optic nerve, which leads to partial or total vision loss.

There are a number of risk factors for glaucoma including age, ethnicity, family history, and certain medical disorders such as diabetes. If you are at a higher risk for glaucoma be sure and consult with your eye care provider regularly to increase your chance of early detection.

To remove your contact lenses, first wash your hands with soap and water and then dry them with a lint free towel. Then, making sure that your lens is centered on your eye, gently pull down on the lower eyelid and eye lashes with the middle finger of your removal hand.

Next, secure your upper eyelid and lashes with the middle finger of your other hand and look up. Then, with the index finger of your removal hand, touch the edge of the contact lens and slide it down onto the white part of your eye, making sure not to touch the contact lens with your fingernail.

Next, gently squeeze the lens with your thumb and index finger and remove. Repeat this process for your other eye and then store your contact lenses according to the procedure given to you by your eye care provider.