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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Surrey, British Columbia

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

Active Eyes Optometry Eye Clinic and Eye exam, contact lenses, myopia in Surrey, British Columbia

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Surrey eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

At Active Eyes Optometry, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

Local Eye exam, contact lenses, myopia in Surrey, British Columbia

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A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Active Eyes Optometry in Surrey today.

Call Active Eyes Optometry on 833-403-5355 to schedule an eye exam with our Surrey optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

Surrey Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

Pink Eye Treatment Clinic Surrey

Living With Low Vision

Surrey Contact Lenses- Overuse of Contact Lenses – What Happens? How Can You Prevent It?

5 Reasons To Wear Sunglasses In The Fall

When we think of fall accessories, the first things that come to mind are warm sweaters, plush scarves, or a snug pair of boots. Here’s another essential item to add to your list: a good quality pair of UV-blocking sunglasses.

But why is it so important to protect your eyes when the sun seems to be hiding behind clouds on most days? While it may not make much sense, you’ll get a better understanding by the time you finish reading this article. So let’s dive in and explore the 5 reasons you should protect your eyes from the sun in the fall.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Surrey, British Columbia

Sunglasses: Summer Vs. Fall

The Sun’s Position

While we may squint more in the summer, the sunlight’s path to the eyes is more direct in the fall as the sun sits closer to the horizon. This places our eyes at greater risk of overexposure to UV rays.

Changing Temperatures

Irritating symptoms like dry, red, or watery eyes are often due to the season’s cool and harsh winds. The colder the air, the stiffer and thicker the eyes’ tear oils (meibum) become. Because thicker meibum doesn’t spread as evenly over the surface of the eyes, the tears can’t offer sufficient protection and moisture.

Minimize irritation by shielding the eyes from cool winds with wraparound sunglasses.

Active Eyes Optometry Eye Clinic and Sunglasses, Eye Protection and Fall Fashion in Surrey, British Columbia

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Surrey eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

UV Rays

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is problematic year-round, as it can result in serious eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. That’s why it’s important to wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses anytime you’re outdoors, no matter the season.

Make sure to sport your sunnies even on cloudy days, as up to 90% of UV rays pass through clouds. Furthermore, outdoor objects like concrete and snow reflect a significant amount of UV rays into the eyes.

Fall’s Dangerous Sun Glare

Because the sun is positioned at a lower angle in the fall, it can produce a brutal glare that poses a danger for driving. Rays of light that reflect off of smooth surfaces like the metal of nearby cars can be so bright to the point of blinding the driver.

You can combat this dangerous glare by wearing polarized sunglasses. These lenses reduce the glare’s harmful effects by filtering out horizontal light waves, such as the ones reflected by a shiny car bumper.

Local Sunglasses, Eye Protection and Fall Fashion in Surrey, British Columbia

Read what our patients have to say on Google Reviews

Looking for Sunglasses Near You?

Here’s the bottom line: you need to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses in the fall and year-round, no matter the season or climate. Investing in a stylish pair of durable, UV-protective sunglasses is — simply-put — a worthwhile investment in your eye health.

So if you’re looking for advice about a new pair of high-quality sunglasses for the fall, with or without prescription lenses, visit Active Eyes Optometry. If standard sunglass lenses are too dark for you at this time of year, ask us about green or brown tinted lenses; they transmit more light and contrast to the eyes than standard grey tints.

We’ll be happy to help you find that perfect pair to protect your eyes, suit your lifestyle needs and enhance your personal style. To learn more, call 833-403-5355 to contact our Surrey eye doctor today.

Call Active Eyes Optometry on 833-403-5355 to schedule an eye exam with our Surrey optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOLLOW US


Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

Are Floaters and Flashes Dangerous?

Surrey LASIK, Who is the Ideal LASIK Candidate?

What Services Can I Get Using Tele-Optometry?

Don’t Let Fall Eye Allergies Get You Down

Doctors tweeting about diabetes

The VancouverSun.com’s article “Doctors using social media, tweeting, and texting with patients” is a great example of where the 21st century has taken us. With diseases such as cancer and diabetes on the climb, doctors are realizing the great need to inform and educate their patients.

Social media has turned us all into social butterflies. From the latest fashion trends, celebrities getting hitched, to e-recipes, information is only a swipe or click away. Why not take advantage of this avenue of communication.

The Canadian Diabetes Association states more than 9 million Canadians currently suffer from diabetes or prediabetes. The government is aware that this number is growing. The best way to approach this serious problem is through prevention. They have provided some helpful information regarding diabetes on their webpage to supplement what doctors have been saying for years. Eat healthy and get yourselves some regular exercise.

Diabetes detection, prevention and treatment are critical. Complications of uncontrolled sugar levels can arise in the Heart, Kidneys and the Eyes.

Some Symptoms of Diabetes are: frequent urination and thirst, tingling in hands and feet, weight change, fatigue and blurred vision.

Prevention of diabetes includes a healthy meal plan, weight control, regular exercise and close sugar control.

Assistance and control of diabetes is managed by your family doctor, dietician, optometrist, and other needed specialists.

Diabetes treatment may include insulin, medications, daily exercise, nutritional changes, and lifestyle management. Obtaining a sugar meter for your home is a good start. Education of diabetes from healthcare providers is the first step. If that means the message being transmitted electronically through emails, texts, and tweets, then so be it.

To See or Not to See

Would you be able to put a price on your vision? We all know how critical our sight is for us to function in our daily lives. Just as cars go in for regular maintenance and tune-ups, should the eyes also be tuned regularly? Who do we see? Eye doctor or optician?

Automobiles made in factories come standard with a large manual on how to appropriately care for your new car. The Owner is told when to take their sporty new car into their dealership for an oil change, tire rotation, and brake inspection. They also know the exact octane number of fuel for when their gas tank empties.

The human body functions in a similar manner. As one ages, many changes occur on the body and its organs. Vision and eye health are no exception. Unfortunately, the human body is not accompanied by a manual when one opens their beautiful eyes to the world for the first time. As they grow older, they learn the advantages to eating healthy and caring for their body. They see a doctor when things go wrong, but most often not preventatively or routinely.

Taking care of the eyes is a delicate matter. Prevention is the key to sustaining clear healthy vision. Regular checkups are needed for young children who are quickly developing, and at risk for lazy eyes and other disorders. Teens and adults are commonly having prescription changes throughout the years. Seniors are at much higher risk for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and so on. Many of the diseases of the eyes can be controlled and prevented, if not cured.

What is the maintenance schedule for the human eyes? Healthcare providers recommend that eyes be examined by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) every 1-2 years. If a situation were to arise where intervention would be required, the sooner the eyes are treated, the better the outcome will be. For certain cases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and infections, the eyes need to be seen much sooner than 12 months. Diabetics are required to be seen by an optometrist every 6 months. For those who dont wear any glasses or contacts, they should to be seen at least every 2 years.

Who to see? There are 3 different scenarios where you may receive a prescription, but only 2 of them will provide you with a complete overhaul and 21-point inspection of the eyes. Optometrists and Ophthalmologists provide full scope services where they inspect the eyes inside and out. Many different machines, instruments, techniques and eyedrops may be used to acquire the information needed in a full eye examination. Prevention of vision loss is the main focus.

Opticians provide a customer with a free eye test or an eye test at a reduced cost, but this difference in test fee should not validate the risk that is placed on eye health. Undiagnosed conditions such as glaucoma can silently eat away at ones vision. When it is caught, it is usually too late to intervene or return lost vision. A sight test by an optician will provide you with your presciption for your new eyeglasses or contacts, but your eye health is not examined.

An optician is unable to ensure great eyesight for the many years ahead of you. What price (or savings) would you sell your vision for?

Ski goggles and mountain safety

Get ready! The mountains are opening early this year. Snowfall has started and the ice caps are glistening. Do you have all you will need to protect you against the extreme conditions? Prepare yourselves for the slopes before you head up. Protect your head and your eyes.

Things you will need atop the mountain:

SKI HELMET

The most serious injury from skiing or snowboarding is a head injury. The mountains all “recommend” that a skier or rider wear a helmet, however, they do not state that it is mandatory to do so. Though it may not be a requirement to wear a ski helmet, its surely the best way to maximize your enjoyment on the slopes. You can ski and ride with safety and confidence.

SKI GOGGLES

The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that 90% of all eye injuries can be prevented by wearing proper eye protection. Wearing ski goggles on the slopes can protect your eyes from cold wind, UV, glare, snow, tree branches, and other moving objects. Ski goggles come in a variety of tint colors to improve performance in different lighting conditions.

WARM LAYERS

Fluctuations in temperature occur frequently on the mountain. The body cools quickly as you sit still on a lift, ascending up the mountain. The body warms up very quickly as you ski or board down the mountain with your heartbeat racing. In order to maintain a comfortable temperature, you will need 3 different layers. Base layer, middle layer, and outer layer.

Make sure to avoid cotton as it will not let your body breathe. Cotton can cause you to quickly overheat and become very sweaty. Polyester and Merino Wool are two very good alternatives to cotton that are used frequently in base layers such as long johns.

Make sure your external layer/ jacket is water resistant so that water and snow dont stick.

GLOVES

Gloves are essential in keeping your fingers warm and dry.

EQUIPMENT

Most importantly, do not forget your skis, boots, poles, and boards. Have your skiis and snowboards waxed and sharpened after every 8-10 uses on the snow.

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS ON THE MOUNTAIN

Obey posted signage – Do not go out of bounds

Stay within your comfort zone – Dont venture into expert runs when you are not prepared for them

Stick together – ski in groups of two or more

Maintain a safe speed – you may lose control at higher speeds

Rest and hydrate often – take frequent breaks to recharge

 

For help with buying the right ski goggles, you can visit our Surrey Office for assistance.

for more info online, visit: SKI GOGGLES – BUYERS GUIDE

Tips on how to dress in layers: 5 Things you need to know about dressing for skiing

Pregnancy and Eye Development

The happiest time for a mother is when she sees her newborn open his/her eyes for the first time. Those beautiful eyes gaze up at you with such excitement as they begin to explore their new world.

As your little one grows, from mommy’s tummy to the world, and from infant to toddler, theres a lot of processes involving the eyes that will occur, and the parent should be aware of them so they dont overly worry themselves.

PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

PRENATAL TIMELINE

Day 1: Fertilization

Day 2: Zygote

Week 2: Brain is first organ to appear

Week 3: Lung, Heart, Liver, Pancreas Development. Heart begins to beat.

3 embryonic layers have formed, and will develop into eye structures

Day 27: Lens and eyelids begin to form. This is evident at Week 5.

Week 5: Cranial Nerves are visible. Initial tooth formation.

Day 36: Optic Nerve begins to form.

Week 6: Brain activity begins. Hands begin to move.

Week 7: Globes (eyeballs) are clearly visible on both sides of embryo

Week 10: Pigment in Iris begins to develop

Week 11-14: Upper and lower eyelids grow together

Month 3: Retinal blood vessels are completely formed

Week 20: Hearing and response to sound begins

Week 26: Fine eyelashes start to grow on eyelids

Month 6: Corneal layer is formed

Week 26-30: Well developed eyes progressively connect to the brain

Week 28-30: Fetus’s sleep changes from unorganized to organized sleep.

REM phases are present

Month 7: Pupils react to light

Prenatal development is a very important start to your child’s vision. Speak with your OB/GYN and get informed about nutrition, prenatal supplements, and things to avoid such as: medications/ chemicals/ drugs/ and alcohol.

NEWBORN’S EYES:

IRIS COLOR CHANGES

We all have seen a newborn babies blue eyes turn a darker shade of color several weeks to months after their introduction to the world. This is a very normal process. The pigment inside the iris has not fully expressed itself in the earlier days of life. It takes several months for their eyes to fully develop. The iris continues to darken until 6 months of age.

LIGHT & COLOR SENSITIVITY CHANGES

Baby’s eyes are not very sensitive to light in the first month. They are almost 1/50th the sensitivity of adults. Therefore its okay to leave the light on in the nursery initially, it wont bother your newborn.

The baby can only see black and white initially due to development of cones in the eyes. Red and Green color is recognized as early as 1 week after birth, however, full color vision including the blue spectrum takes more time to develop.

Initially they respond to mothers voice and quickly learn the shapes of her face. Although they cannot see colors and light intensity to its fullest, they have a great way of distinguising mother from stranger. Mother should keep her appearance consistent (ie. hairstyle/color) so that it can help the baby recognize and interact easier.

TEAR DUCT/GLAND CHANGES

In some newborns, the lacrimal ducts (tear drainage system) in the eyelids do not open up completely in the first year of life. The eyes will water frequently and appear as if the baby has been crying. Do not worry, this occurs in about 30% of newborns. Take them to the optometrist to rule out any problems. They will most likely require mother/father’s assistance in opening the eyelid canal with gentle daily massage that can be demonstrated by an eye doctor.

Tear Production does not begin until 2 weeks after birth. The tear producing glands continue to grow until child is 3-4 years of age.

If baby’s eyes are producing heavy amounts of mucous, its possible they may have an eye infection and require antibiotics. This should be looked at as soon as possible.

VISION CHANGES

The baby’s focusing ability is not perfect at birth and sometimes causes the eyes to appear as if they are not working together or looking in the wrong direction (cross-eyed). Its normal for the eye to drift in or out for the first couple months. However, if you notice the childs eyes drifting large amounts or very frequently, please contact your pediatrician and/or optometrist, especially if its been a few months since birth.

Baby’s vision is about 20/400 at birth. Baby’s vision will become sharper as time proceeds. Their vision is almost approaching 20/25 by the time they’re 6 months. Vision will be near 20/20 after the first year.

PEDIATRIC EYE EXAMINATIONS

When the baby is born, the nurse quickly douses the childs eyes with an antibiotic to prevent any eye infections. The newborn is also checked to rule out any major eye conditions such as cataracts or retinal tumors. The baby is not given a full eye exam at this time. Their first eye exam can occur with an optometrist as early as 6 months of age. BC optometrists perform FREE examinations annually on all infants, toddlers, and children until they turn 19 years of age. It is highly recommended to bring the baby in for an eye exam sometime after 6months in their first year of life, around age 3, and age 5.

Resources used:

(1) Lee Ann Remington, Clinical Anatomy of the Visual System

(2) http://pediatrics.about.com/od/pediatricophthalmology/a/0407_blck_trdct.htm

(3) A great Link for DEVELOPMENTAL TIMELINE: http://php.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php?title=Timeline_human_development

(4) http://www.ehd.org/science_main.php?level=b&submit1.x=67&submit1.y=11&s1=on&s5=on&s17=on&s14=on&s2=on&s6=on&s16=on&s0=on&s12=on&s7=on&s11=on&s13=on&s10=on&s18=on&s19=on&s3=on&ops=&r1=on&r3=on&r5=on&r7=on&r2=on&r4=on&r6=on&r0=on&re=on&L1=1&L2=0

(5) http://www.allaboutvision.com/parents/infants.htm

Buying Glasses Online Has Its Pitfalls

Online companies have offered free or discounted eyeglasses and contacts in the past. Should we take advantage of these offers? Do you really save money at the end of the day? Whats missing?

The internet may offer consumers the benefits of great selection and lower prices. But for what cost? The online companies dont have to answer to anybody. There is no one there to oversee them to make sure their products’ quality standards are up to par. The consumer is not protected.

The most common problems were incorrect prescriptions and failure to meet minimum impact-resistance safety standards. This means that the lens you purchase online may crack and shatter, causing a huge safety risk!

STUDY #1: A Montreal study was conducted to evaluate accuracy of online orders of eyewear. Four popular sites selling glasses online were selected including Clearly Contacts. Each participant was asked to perform the entire ordering process alone. The actual frames and lenses were then analyzed against professional standards.

Results showed prescription strength errors. The glasses did not come out the way they were meant to be made. Pupillary distance, frame height, and lens centration was also erronious in a large number of cases.

When the customer rated their satisfaction in comfort,

70% did NOT give it a passing grade

With standardized parameters set by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) the orders arrived at an alarming:

94% failure rate!

This all equals a big fat waste of money. Even if it is only $26-495 dollars, its lost money and lost time.

STUDY # 2: Another study was performed in the United States in 2011. This study investigated prescription spectacles ordered from online vendors for compliance with prescription tolerances and impact resistance.

Orders were placed by several individuals to 10 of the largest online companies. A total of 200 orders were placed, and 308 lenses were examined for compliance.

Overall, 44.8% of spectacles failed to meet prescription requirements or safety standards that would be deemed Safe for the customer.

This study showed: About 50% of online purchases

did NOT meet prescription or

safety impact resistance standards!

KNOW THE QUALITY OF PRODUCT YOU ARE BUYING!

Although costs may be somewhat reduced in an online purchase order, the customer does not appear to receive the quality and safety of product that they are believed to be purchasing. If you want to compare cost of a product, make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

A NIKON, HOYA, or ESSILOR lens is much greater quality than a basic no-name overseas lens made in China. The coatings of these cheaper lenses will peal, degrade, scratch, and damage quite easily. You also cannot match the quality of service, care, and knowledge you receive from the assistance of a frame stylist or optician in a local shop or doctors office.

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE CONSUMER?

With an online pair of glasses, the consumer may not be able to see clearly at various distances, they can see double vision, and experience eye strain, neck tension, and headaches. If a lens is not impact resistance to standards, then it can shatter in your eyes and cause permanent damage!

If you are buying contact lenses online, then you are at a four to five times greater risk for developing an aggressive eye infection that can lead to permanent vision loss. The problem with buying contacts online is that you do not know how the contact lens will fit your eyes. If it fits too loose or too tight, then this will directly impact the health, vision, and comfort of your eyes. A piece of plastic is essentially rubbing up against your eyeball everytime you blink. These contact lenses come in a variety of shapes, materials, sizes, and prescriptions. An eye doctor can fit you properly with contact lenses to ensure you are in the right lens.

Each time you want to change contact lens brands, you must be refitted to ensure the new lens also fits correctly. Online buyers assume that all contacts fit the same, and they also try to self treat themselves by bumping up their rx if their vision is blurry. If your vision is blurry, its not always due to prescription changes. The eye health may be deteriorating and require medical attention. See an optometrist before you purchase additional contacts.

The take home message is that you should not sacrifice safety just to save a few bucks. Afterall, there is no pricetag on our vision. What price would you pay to get your vision back if you lost it?

Resources: Evaluations of prescriptions and frames purchased from online eyewear vendors. Dr. Benoit frenette

Safety and Compliance of prescription spectacles ordered by the public via the Internet, by Karl Citek, Ph.D, Daniel Torgerson, MBA,MS,et al.

“The Perils of Internet Dispensing,” by JoAnne Sommers, Envision magazine, may 2012

Dry Eyes

Eyes can often feel dry, gritty, and irritated. It feels like somethings in your eyes. Scratchy and sometimes painful sensations can arise when your dry eyes are crying for HELP!

DEHYDRATION = DRY BODY + DRY EYES

Do your eyes feel as dry as your skin? This picture resembles the appearance of an alligator’s skin; cracked and spotty from dehydration. If you are noticing that your body is generally very dry, then its highly likely that your eyes are just as dry. Ask yourself how many times a day you use lotion for your hands and chapstick for your lips. If the answer is ‘MANY TIMES A DAY,” then you should also ask yourselves how many times a day you use lubricant eyedrops for your eyes. The answer to that question, sadly, may be ‘NEVER.’ Dry eye treatment is very commonly overlooked. Start drinking more water, lubricate the eyes heavily, and reduce dry eye accelerators such as caffeine, alcohol, and fans. See an optometrist for a complete DRY EYE CONSULTATION to receive a personalized treatment plan.

READING/ COMPUTER WORK

Dry eyes arise from doing excessive amounts of near work for an extended amount of time without a break. When your eyes focus on near objects for a long time the blink rate reduces greatly. Your tears dehydrate much quicker with your eyes being open longer. This causes severe dryness and sometimes even sharp pain. An optometrist can explain how to relax your eyes more often to alleviate eye strain and dry eyes.

CLIMATE/ WEATHER/ ENVIRONMENT

Summer desert heat, cold winters, and air conditioned offices all provide an optimally DRY environment. Due to the fact that the eyes are externally exposed to the environment, it presents many challenges. Temperature and humidity changes can affect the moisture content of your eyes as the tears evaporate. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air and therefore cause airplanes and office settings to have very dry air.

MEDICATIONS

Many strong prescription medications cause dry eyes. As the liver and kidneys are working extra hard to filter the medication from the blood, they consume a lot of the body’s water content. The body dries up and the eyes become very, very dry. The biggest culprit to dry eyes is oral allergy medications such as Claritin/ Reactin/ Aerius. These oral medications work by sucking all the moisture from the mucous glands to reduce unwanted phlem. The downside is the dryness that remains for the eyes.

SLEEP

Lack of sleep causes the eyes to become inflammed, red, and dry. The eyes get overworked and require rest as well.

Some individuals sleep with their eyes open at night. Have a friend or spouse monitor you one day to see if your eyes remain slightly open as you sleep. This can cause severe dryness overnight. As the individual awakens in the morning, they are barely able to open their eyes. The eyes feel heavy, tired, and dry. A quick solution would be to wear a night mask over your eyes as you sleep.

Obese individuals or people who suffer from sleep-apnea have very lax and stretchy eyelids. These eyelids are more prone to opening at night from mild friction from the pillow. They may also benefit from wearing a nightly mask to cover their eyes.

Eliminate dry eyes! Speak to an optometrist to receive your personalized dry eye treament plan.

Red Eyes and Pink Eye

Red Eyes or “Bloodshot eyes” are long-standing and bothersome to many individuals. They are very difficult to self-treat and do not readily whiten on their own. There’s a variety of causes to the red appearance of your eyeballs. Learn how to get your white eyes back.

WHY ARE THE EYES RED!?

There are many reasons for why the eyes can appear angry. The most common reasons are: Dryness, Infection, Allergies, Inflammation and Contact lens abuse.

INFECTION (bacterial or fungal)

When there is an infection in your eyes, the body sends its strongest fighters, its white blood cells to the area to elinimate the infection. In order to do this, it dilates the blood vessels so more cells can fight the infection. These dilated blood vessels become filled with large amounts of blood, and this provides the red bloodshot appearance of an infected eyeball. Prescription antibiotics will be prescribed for your particular infection.

PINK EYE (viral)

Pink eye is a specific term used for an eye that has a viral infection. These viral infections dont look as ‘beet red’ as a bacterial infection, therefore, as the eyeballs’ vessels dilate and become larger, they appear PINK. These infections are very contagious. The individual should consider taking time off school/work so they do not infect others. When the mucous resides from the use of antibiotic eyedrops prescribed by the optometrist, then the patient may return to regular activities. Do not share bath towels, clothes, or beds during this sort of infection. See an Optometrist right away.

CONTACT LENS ABUSE/ OVER-WEARCorneal Ulcers

Contact lenses are meant to be used responsibly. A piece of plastic on the eye should not be taken lightly. Infiltration and ulceration of the cornea can occur when bacteria within the eye or the contact lens itself begin to divide and conquer. If contact lenses are worn longer than they should, or if they are not cleaned properly and thoroughly, an aggressive infection can occur. These infections cause heavy scarring of the cornea which can lead to permanent vision loss and even the loss of an eyeball. During the ulcerative and infiltrative stages of the infection, the eyeball becomes engorged with large dilated blood vessels, giving it a deep red appearance. In these cases, the contact lens wearer should discontinue contact lens wear immediately and see an optometrist as soon as possible. This case can be very sight-threatening.

ALLERGIES

Seasonal allergies are known to cause a reaction throughout the body. Itch is the biggest symptom. Skin, ears, nose, throat, lungs can all be affected in allergic reactions. The eyelids specifically will become overwhelmingly itchy, especially at night and in the mornings. The eyes become red due to the allergic response to cottonwood, pollen, and other allergens. An optometrist can prescribe a prescription allergy eyedrop to be used daily throughout the allergy months. Eyes become clear, white, and itch-free.

DRYNESS

Age, gender, medications, contact lenses, dehydration, climate, and other environmental factors can cause dry eyes. Excessive computer use or near work can also aggrevate dry eyes. When an eye becomes dry, it starts an inflammatory process that causes your eyes to become red. When the dryness is resolved with lubrication and moisture, the redness goes away. A specific dry eye-regimen may be required to fight off severe dryness. Dryness can get quite complicated when it comes to the eyes. Many options can be presented by the eye doctor to resolve the dryness.

INFLAMMATORY DISEASE

If an individual has Arthritis, Colitis, Crohn’s, Lupus, or some other form of inflammatory disease, the inflammation can spread to the eyes. When the inflammation spreads to the eyes, there can be: sensitivity to bright lights, reduced vision, pain, and a red eye. These patients require anti-inflammatory medicated eyedrops for multiple weeks for resolve the Red eye and inflammatory symptoms.

GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is when the pressures in your eyes become too high, and/or when your eye’s nerve starts to deteriorate. In a particular case of glaucoma, the drainage system of the eye becomes plugged, and the pressures quickly spike within hours. As this occurs, the vision can become reduced, and the eyes become very red. This instance requires immediate management to prevent further damage and blindness. Tunnel vision is quite common with glaucoma. See an optometrist to rule out glaucoma, especially if your eyes are red and vision is blurred.

INJURY (trauma)

Physical injury can cause blood vessels to break and leak. Be very cautious and concerned if the injury is from a fingernail, or vegetative (plant based/branches) matter, as this can cause an aggressive fungal infection. Fungal infections require daily monitoring and sometimes hospitalization as it can lead to widespread infection of the entire eye and destruction of the eye completely. See an optometrist right away.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Lack of sleep causes the conjunctiva to dry out and become inflammed. If you want to clear the eyes of their redness, get some ‘shut-eye.’

DRUG USE

Marijuana is a dilating substance. It causes blood vessels to become dilated. Enlarged blood vessels make your eyes look bloodshot.

IS VISINE SAFE TO USE LONGTERM?

When we get red bloodshot eyes, we look for a quick fix. A quick and easy way to whiten the eyes is by using a constricting chemical such as VISINE. Using visine once in a while may be okay if you have an emergency photo shoot or ceremony to attend.

Longterm use on the other hand can cause REBOUND REDNESS. The eyes can get used to continual use of constricting agents, and become more red and dilated then before its original introduction. Chronic use of VISINE worsens the symptoms over time.

DO NOT USE VISINE TO GET THE RED OUT! If you eyes are red, they are red for a reason. If the underlying foundational problem is fixed, then the redness will go away on its own. An optometrist can diagnose the underlying cause to the redness, and easily treat the chronic red eye disorder.

Glasses or Plastics? Spectacle Evolution

Ever wonder why Eyeglasses are called glasses? The lenses are not made out of glass; rather they’re made of plastic! Maybe we should call them plastics?

Eyeglasses are also known as “Spectacles.” When eyeglasses were first crafted, they were made from glass. This is where the name ‘eyeglass’ originated from.

The first eyeglasses were made in Italy in 1286. In the early years, they originated as a monocle or a pince-nez. What we know today as the modern day eyeglass is quite evolved from its predecessors.

Eyewear nowadays comes in many varieties:

FRAME OPTIONS

Frame Material – metal, titanium, plastic, wood

Frame Styles – semi rimless, full rimless, horned rim, cat-eye, harry potter, aviator

Frame Sizes – infant sizes, kids frames, and X-tra large frames

Frame Types – swimming, sports, work safety, sunwear

….not to mention the varities in Lenses:

LENS OPTIONS

Lens Types – bifocal, trifocal, progressives

Lens Thickness – different INDEX of lens makes thinner and lighter lens for higher prescriptions. material of plastic can be altered also. “Polycarbonate” or “Trivex” lenses are used for safety purposes. They provide high impact resistance and prevent the plastic from shattering.

Lens Coatings – Antireflection, Scratch resistance, easy-to-clean (smudge coat/ water repellent/ static repulsion), UV protection

Lens Tints – colored lenses: pink, blue, brown, etc

Transition and Polarized Lenses: eliminate intensity of light outdoors, and diminishes glare from surfaces from the ocean and glass panels

The options are endless. Its like purchasing a brand new car. You can get fully loaded, or customize your car as you like it. With modern innovations, what we know as “glasses” today, are evolved on a colossal scale.

The question remains then: Why do we not use glass in our glasses anymore? The answer is quite simple. Glass is harmful when shattered.

DOWNSIDES OF GLASS

1) Heavy

2) Thick

3) Saftey risk – can crack and cause major facial, and eye damage (biggest reason to stay away from glass!)