How to Choose GlassesFor some people, choosing new glasses is an exciting opportunity to change a look, or be able to accessorize.  For others, it is a daunting and overwhelming task.  There are many things to consider when you are looking at glasses.  

Choosing Glasses: Be Bold, or Blend?

One of the easiest questions to consider first is do you want your glasses to stand out, or blend in?  Most people have a pretty strong opinion either way.  The easiest way to get a bolder look is a thicker, more colorful frame.  Plastic frames accomplish this easiest, though some metal frames can also have a bold look depending on color and any pattern.  A rimless or semi-rimless frame (open all the way around or just at the bottom) tends to blend the most.

Choosing Glasses: Metal or Plastic?

Again, many people seem to have a strong preference for one or the other.  Most metal frames come with nosepads, which can allow for easier adjustments to fit the bridge of the nose.  There are lightweight options in both metal and plastic.  A plastic frame is best for someone with a highly nearsighted prescription- it will hide the thickness of the edge more easily than a metal frame.  

Choosing Glasses: Prescription Considerations

Different prescriptions will be best suited to different frames.  A highly nearsighted prescription, as mentioned above, will do well in a plastic frame.  Choose a frame with smaller lenses to further limit the reduce the thickness of the edge of the lens.  A person who needs a profressive lens (no line bifocal) will want a lens that is a bit taller vertically to allow room for the bifocal section.  If the lens is too small, the bifocal section of the lens may be cut off.  

Choosing Glasses: Color

Just as when chooosing clothing, you should consider your best colors to find the most flattering frame.  Almost everyone favors either warm or cool shades of colors.  For women, sometimes the jewelry you like can be a big clue.  If you tend to prefer silver, you are more likely to look best in cool shades.  If you wear more gold, warm might do better for you.  Another way to determine your coloring is to look at the veins in your wrist.  If your veins are more blue/purple- you have cool undertones.  If they are more green, you are warm.  And yes, it is possible to be neutral!  If you sunburn easily you are likely cool-toned, and if you tan you are likely warm-toned. Jewel-toned blues, purples, and emerald greens fall in the cool category.  Earth tones like reds, oranges, yellows, and olive greens are more warm.  There are warm and cool shades of every color- so nothing is necessarily off limits!

glasses color

Choosing Glasses: Fit

Once you pick the fun parts of style and color, the most important consideration is fit.  Glasses that don't fit well can affect how you are seeing (seriously!), can slide down your face, and even cause you discomfort.

In a frame with no nosepads, the bridge of the frame must rest well on the wearer's nose as it cannot be adjusted.  Too wide and the frame will slide down.  Too small and the frame will sit too high on the wearer's face. 

The temples must fit close to the head without pushing.  This is often the first area of the frame kids outgrow!  Too wide and again, the frame will fall down.  Too tight and it can also fall down, or cause discomfort.  Too long or short, and they also won't stay in place.

As you can see, it is important to try glasses on with the aid of a skilled optician to ensure the best possible fit and comfort.

kids glasses

 

Most importantly- have fun!  Don't let choosing glasses be a daunting task.  Look to see what styles you think you might like, and communicate with your optician about what you like or dislike about each frame.

 

Want to look at our options before your appointment?  View our online Frame Gallery!

 

 

Glaucoma Awareness

January is National Glaucoma Awarness Month.  This is an important opportunity to talk about glaucoma, a sight-threatening disease.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is group of eye diseases that irreversibly and gradually steal sight without any warning signs.  There is almost never any pain associated with the disease.  Damage to the optic nerve occurs, typically from increased fluid (aqueous fluid) pressure within the eye.  The optic nerve carries vision signals from the eye to the brain, so when damage occurs those signals no longer get through.  Vision loss happens peripherally first, which is why many people do not realize they have the disease until it is far too late.  

The most common form of glaucoma affects middle-age and elderly people, however it can happen at any age.  

Untreated glaucoma can progressively worsen over time.  There is no cure for glaucoma, but there are several treatment options including drops to lower the pressure in the eyes, and even surgeries.  The best treatment will be determined by the type of glaucoma present.  The best outcomes happen with early detection.  A comprehensive eye examination screens for glaucoma in several ways- including measuring the eye pressure and evaluating the optic nerves.

Diagnosis Glaucoma

Types of glaucoma

As mentioned above, there are different types of glaucoma.  Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) is the most common and occurs where the fluid pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP) raises to the point that nerve damage is occuring. This can come from too much fluid production and/or not fast enough fluid drainage.  Angle Closure Glaucoma also results from increased IOP, but this is due to the fluid drainage area in the front of the eye anatomically shutting off the ability for the aqueous to escape.

Secondary glaucomas occur from trauma, diabetes, and more.  These typically affect the ability of the aqueous fluid to drain, resulting in high IOP.

It is also possible to have optic nerve damage without elevated IOP- this is called Normal Tension Glaucoma.

How common is glaucoma?

According to glaucoma.org, more than 3 million people in the United States, and 60 million worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don't know that they have it.  The National Eye Institute projects the number of affected individuals to increase by 58% in 2030.

Comprehensive eye examinations can detect glaucoma.  As we have discussed, there are no warning signs, so making sure you continue routine care with your eye care professional even if you are seeing well is vital.  Once vision loss is noticed, it cannot be recovered.

How do you check for glaucoma?

Several factors are evaluated in glaucoma.  These include IOP, visual fields (a measure of peripheral vision), corneal thickness, an inspection of the drainage area in the front of the eye (gonioscopy), and a scan of the optic nerve to determine any damage.  Your doctor will repeat these tests at routine intervals to diagnose and follow glaucoma.

What are risk factors for glaucoma?

Those with a positive family history, and people of African American, Hispanic, or Asian descent are more at risk.  Diabetics can also have an increased risk.  Regular comprehensive eye care is especially important for these groups.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

 

 

Kids Screen Time

One of the most common questions we get from parents is "how much screen time should my child have?".  Computers, tablets, and smartphones are everywhere, even in the classroom.  With all the exposure to devices, it makes sense to wonder what any potential problems are related to an increase in screen time.

Dry Eyes

Just like adults, when kids are looking at a screen, their blink rate drops dramatically.  That can cause the tear film to evaporate more quickly, which can cause blurry vision, discomfort, and a tired feeling.  Over time, this can even damage some of the structures in the eye that are responsible for making components of a normal healthy tear film.  These structures are the Meibomian glands, and they help produce the oily part of the tears.  The Meibomian Glands can actually lose function over time, and that is irreversible.  Reducing screen time, for both kids and adults, can help reduce symptoms of dry eye.

The Blue Light Debate

Our device screens emit blue light.  Certain wavelengths of blue light can be harmful to the human eye.  The largest source of blue light is the sun.  There aren't a lot of studies on the effects of blue light specifically from device screens on the human eye, but some believe that it can be a factor in macular degeneration just as the sun and UV exposure is.  It can also be a factor in tired-feeling eyes at the end of the day.  Blue light exposure can also affect melatonin production, interfering with normal sleep.  For that reason it is recommended that all device use be stopped at least an hour before bedtime.

Computer Glasses

Different lenses and coatings are available to help protect the eyes for extended screen time.  In our office we use the Eyezen+ lenses, which block out harmful wavelengths of blue light.  The Eyezen+ lenses are also available with a small amount of magnification at the bottom of the lens to further reduce eyestrain.We also use Crizal Sapphire, which is a non-glare coating that further reduces harmful blue light in addition to providing all the great non-glare qualities of any Crizal.  Patients who have used these lenses have reported their eyes being much more comfortable at the end of a day of computer use.  These lenses can be put in any frame, including kids' frames.  

 

So, what's the answer?

The best advice we can give parents is to treat screen-time like dessert- keep it in moderation.  Wearing Computer Glasses is a smart idea, even if there's no prescription in them.  Our kids are going to be exposed more to blue light than any generation before, and we believe taking small steps to ensure their eye health is a wise choice.

 

 

https://youtu.be/5q2dLzaqGhU

 

 

Please note- our office is closed for Thanksgiving Nov 22-25.  We will reopen Monday, Nov 26 with normal business hours.
Cataracts Blog header

One of the more common questions that comes up in our office is "What are cataracts?"  They are one of the more common things we see in practice, and generally are one of the most treatable forms of vision impairment.

Cataracts 101: What exactly are cataracts?

Inside the eye, there is a natural lens that allows us to focus.  When we are younger, it even changes shape a little to allow us to change focus from distance to near and back again.  As we age, that natural lens becomes yellow and cloudy.  When your optometrist looks in your eye, he or she can see the clouding of the lens and diagnose the cataract.  There are actually a few different forms of cataract, meaning different patterns in which the clouding can happen.  Sometimes people can have a mix of multiple types.  The most common is nuclear sclerosis, which is that natural, all over, yellowing of the lens.  Cortical form just like spokes on a bike, starting at the edge of the lens and pointing to the middle.  Posterior subcapsular (PSC) form on the back surface of the lens, usually right in the middle of your vision.

Cataracts 101: What are the symptoms of cataracts?  How do I know I have them?

Early cataracts may not have any symptoms.  We expect to see some normal aging changes in the lens starting anywhere after age 40.  Typically they progress very slowly, over many years.  The first symptoms to usually show up are glare, especially at night.  The clouding of the lens causes light to scatter in the eye more, which is what makes glare so much worse.  Color vision can also be affected.  Eventually when the cataracts are mature, your vision will be blurry no matter what glasses or contact lenses are prescribed.  It is like looking through a dirty window.

Cataracts 101: What can be done about cataracts?

Some things can make cataracts worse sooner.  These include certain medications (systemic steroids being a prime example), diabetes, and smoking.  Eventually everyone does get cataracts no matter what they do.  When they are mature enough that they are impairing vision to a certain level, they are surgically removed.  There are many new techniques that have been developed even within the last few years, including the use of lasers.   When it is time for the cataracts to come out, an ophthalmologist will make small incisions at the edge of the cornea (the front clear part of the eye), break up the natural lens inside the eye, and remove it.  An artificial lens is then inserted in its place.  One of the nice benefits of cataract surgery is that the artificial lens can be used to correct your vision, at least at distance.  Some lenses can even correct vision at distance and near, reducing your dependence on glasses significantly.  As with any surgery, cataract surgery has its risks, which are important to discuss with your doctor.

 

Cataracts

 

Latest News

  • How to Choose The Right Pair of Glasses

    29 January 2019

    For some people, choosing new glasses is an exciting opportunity to change a look, or be able to accessorize. For others, it is a daunting and overwhelming task. There are many things to consider when you are looking at glasses. Choosing Glasses: Be Bold, or Blend? One of the easiest quest...
  • January: National Glaucoma Awareness Month

    02 January 2019

    January is National Glaucoma Awarness Month. This is an important opportunity to talk about glaucoma, a sight-threatening disease. What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is group of eye diseases that irreversibly and gradually steal sight without any warning signs. There is almost never any pain assoc...