Rx Optical Blog Image Swimming Pool Eye Safety 06.17.19

Eyes Burning? Swimming Pool Eye Safety Tips

Summer weather is synonymous with fun in the sun. On days when you don’t have time to make it to the lakeshore but still want to cool off, pools are the obvious way to go.

Whether you prefer to jump in, cannonball, or float, it’s extremely important to keep your eyes and vision protected. You’ve probably noticed that while pools are great, you can sometime walk away from them with irritated eyes.

Irritated eyes are very uncomfortable and can ruin a day of fun in the sun. Luckily for you, our team of doctors is here with helpful tips to keep your summer fun going swimmingly.

Danger of Pool Chemicals

Many pools use chemicals to keep the water clean and sanitary. However, these same chemicals can be very dangerous to your eyes and vision.

Coating the surface of your eyes is something called a tear film. This is a thin layer of tears that protects your eyes from irritants.

Chemicals found in pools, especially chlorine, can wash away the moist layer of tear film. This can irritate your eyes. There are a few different health concerns that can develop from this exposure to pool chemicals: swimmer’s eye, dry eye, or pink eye.

Swimmer’s Eye

Swimmer’s eye is the most common of the three health concerns and most recognizable. Symptoms of swimmer’s eye include:

  • Redness of the whites of your eyes
  • A stinging or burning sensation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision

Dry Eye

If you experience dry eyes and spend a lot of time swimming in a pool, this can sometimes be attributed to the chemicals washing away that thin layer of tear film. Symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • The feeling of grit in the eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Not producing enough tears
  • Not producing the right kind of tears

Pink Eye

When chemicals wash away the thin layer of tear film, eyes are left fully exposed to all the pool chemicals and any lingering bacteria. Bacteria that survive on your eye can lead to an eye infection, most commonly, pink eye.

  • Common symptoms of pink eye include:
  • Redness of the whites of your eyes
  • Changes in eye discharge
  • Burning or itching eyes
  • Blurred vision

Protect Your Eyes

Goggles are an important part of taking care of your eyes in and around pools. Goggles create a barrier against harmful pool chemicals while also keeping your tear film healthy. Did you know you can get prescription goggles?

After you get out of a pool, be sure to wash your eyes immediately with fresh water. While it might seem fun to lounge in the sun after you’re done swimming, that won’t help to keep your vision and eyes protected. Washing out your eyes with fresh water will remove chlorine and other chemicals from your eyelids and eyelashes.

You should also stay hydrated while swimming, no matter if you are swimming for leisure or for a workout. You can also help to keep your eyes moist and comfortable by drinking water during your pool day.

If you begin to experience eye discomfort after swimming in a pool, it’s always smart to con-tact your doctor. We know how to treat your eye irritation and can help you avoid future eye problems. Reach out to our team of doctors today to learn more!

 

Rx Optical Blog Image Summer Treats 06.06.19

Must-Have Summer Treats in Michigan

No matter where you are in the country, there are certain tastes that scream, “Summer!” Michigan is no different. Our state has some of the most tantalizing and nostalgic delights for foodies of all ages.

We know summer isn’t quite here yet, but once you sink your teeth into these snacks, you’ll be ready for some unforgettable summer adventures.

Classic Corndogs

What better way to celebrate summer afternoons than with a corndog from Pronto Pups? This cash-only restaurant has been a staple of Grand Haven for the past 60 years. They’ve never changed their recipe, and they clearly don’t have to. Grab your sunglasses, hit the beach, and make sure to get in line early if you want one of these for lunch. Pronto Pups is incredibly popular!

Craveable Coney Dogs

How could we talk about Michigan classics without mentioning Coney Dogs? Although it’s not clear where they originated, Coney Dogs have been a Michigan staple since the 1900s. Swing by your local hotdog joint and ask for one of these delights, slathered in chili, mustard, and onions. Our mouths are already watering.

Homemade Cherry Pie

It’s no secret that Michiganders love cherries, and it’s even less of a secret that we all love cherry pie. In fact, our state has two of the largest cherry pie tins in the world on display in Traverse City and Charlevoix. It’s no wonder the northern part of the state makes some killer confections. Make sure you stop by to taste one (regular-sized pie) for yourself.

Cool Chillers

If you haven’t tried a Boston Chiller yet, you’re missing out. Despite the name, this incredible milkshake was created in Detroit. It’s the perfect blend of Vernor’s (another Michigan staple) and vanilla ice cream that’s bound to cool you down on even the hottest of days. This shake was created by Frank Sanders (yes, the same Sanders that popularized hot fudge sundaes) to showcase some of the best that Michigan has to offer.

We want you to enjoy the tastes and sights of summer. Schedule an exam today before you start on your culinary road trip.

 

A zoomed in photo of an eyeball with a blue iris.

Cataract Prevention and Awareness

June is Cataract Awareness Month! That’s why our doctors are committed to providing you with the advice, resources, and helpful tips you need to know about cataracts.

A cataract occurs when an eye’s lens becomes clouded. This condition inhibits or complete-ly blocks vision. Almost all cataracts are caused by age, so the people who are most at risk for cataracts are people over the age of 60.

Since we know that cataracts are age-related, there are some steps you can take to pro-tect your vision as you age.

What Causes Cataracts?

When you look at something, there is a lens in your eye that focuses light to the back of your eye. This light goes to the retina, where images are received. Your lens also adjusts the eye’s focus, which allows you to see images clearly, no matter how close or far they are.

As we age, the protein may clump together, creating a cloud. This makes it harder for light to pass through the lens onto the retina, which means it’s harder to see images clearly.

Symptoms of a Cataract

The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Seeing faded colors
  • Glare, often from headlights, lamps or sunlight
  • Halos appearing around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision or multiple images in one eye
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses

How to Prevent Cataracts

The best way to monitor for cataracts is by receiving annual, comprehensive eye exams. Eye exams are key indicators of your overall health, and when you get eye exams consistently, doctors are able to track changes in your eye health more accurately.

UV exposure has also been linked to cataracts, so along with receiving annual eye exams, always make sure to wear sunglasses. UV rays can still impact you even in cold months, so be sure to wear sunglasses year round! The more protection the better. A wide-brimmed hat paired with sunglasses is a great way to keep your eyes and vision healthy.

 

Want to learn more about protecting your vision as you age? Our doctors have the information you need and the important tips you can put into practice starting today. Visit one of our 55 locations or schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to see you!

An image of a girl wearing a backpack, hiking in the woods.

Get Outside: Best Hiking Trails in Michigan

Our state is so beautiful, and we love exploring it! One of the best ways to enjoy all that Michigan has to offer is by hiking trails all over the state. Each trail offers something different, whether it’s dunes, waterfalls, forests or beaches. Let’s be honest: Michigan truly has some of the best trails in the country.

When you hit these paths, you might even run into one of our doctors. We love exercising and staying active because it’s a great way to improve vision. Check out our team’s top picks for hiking Michigan, and say hi if you bump into us!

An image of a bridge in Warren Woods Park, Michigan.

Warren Woods State Park

We may be a little bias about the Warren Woods trail because it’s only an hour away from our main office, but it’s also an easy trail to hike with your family. This is a short walk with great views and perfect picnic spots.

tahquamenonfalls

Tahquamenon Falls Route

Take a trip to the Upper Peninsula to see the Tahquamenon Falls. Plus, you can take the Tahquamenon Falls Route to see multiple other waterfalls in the area. Did you know this trail will allow you to see one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi? That’s something you can’t miss.

We love this trail because there is so much to see, from leafy foliage to multiple waterfalls and the occasional moose. If you hike this route, stop in to one of our 55 locations to tell us all about it!

A photo of Minong Ridge Traverse at sunset.

Minong Ridge Traverse

Ready for a hike of a lifetime? Take a trip all the way up to Isle Royale National Park to hike Minong Ridge. You’ll have to take two ferries to get there, but the views are worth it. This hike is for the experienced traveler, so start training now!

Pack plenty of water and your sunglasses when you go. This is a long hike, and you’ll need to protect your health. Keep your eyes shaded so you can see the trail with ease and make sure to stay hydrated.

Green Trail

Green Trail

Travel to southeast Michigan and get lost in the forest at Haven Hill Natural Area in the Highland State Recreation Area. The Green Trail is an easy hike that’s perfect for beginners. As if that wasn’t great already, you can also bring your dog! The trail is only 45 miles out from Detroit, so it’s a great place to visit in order to escape the city.

Make sure you bring bug spray with you. Green Trail is in a swamp forest, but it’s also home to over 100 species of birds. Make sure your glasses are clean for this hike so you don’t miss anything!

Before you take off on your next hiking adventure, stop in for a comprehensive eye exam. We want you to enjoy all the views Michigan has to offer with clear vision.

Schedule an appointment with one of our skilled doctors today, and then go hit the trails.

An image featuring two trendy styles of sunglasses.

2019 Summer Sunglasses Trends

The sun is returning to Michigan! An increase in sun exposure means that the harm from UV rays is raised, so it’s important to protect your eyes. While you’re shielding your vision from the sun, you might as well do it in style. Our trendsetting team has handpicked the latest and greatest sunglasses for summer 2019.

Hollywood Glam

A photo of hollywood glam style sunglasses.

Do you want to feel like a movie star anywhere you go this summer? You’re in luck! Hollywood glam is in for summer 2019 and sunglasses

are not left out of mix. Look for over-sized, round frames with decorative embellishments. We can’t get enough of Chloé, a designer brand that has perfected the Hollywood glam style. Stop in to try on this pair today!

A picture of geometric style sunglasses.

Geometric

Not feeling the over-sized round frames? Don’t worry. The sharp and bold style is also hot this summer! Geometric-style frames like angular, square, or rectangle frames have never been more popular. We like these Polo frames that have a double bar in between the lenses for added geometric effect.

Floral

A photo of floral style sunglasses.

Last summer, we kicked floral prints to the curb, but they are back and better than ever. Mix a floral print with an edgier style frame and you’ll be the talk of the beach! Check out these Coach frames for inspiration. Better yet, try them on for yourself by visiting on of our 54 locations.

UV Protection

No matter what current design is calling your name, there is one trend that will never go out of style: UV protection. Please make sure that you are choosing a lens with 100-percent UV protection, lenses that are impact resistant, and lenses that are wide enough to shield your eyes from the sun from most angles.

Not sure where to begin? We get it. With over 40 designer brands, it can be overwhelming to find your perfect pair of sunglasses. Our knowledgeable (and stylish) team of eye doctors and opticians are up to date on the latest trends and have the expertise you value when it comes to finding a comfortable fit. Stop in and try a few pairs on. With over 50 locations statewide, we’re never too far away.

Grass grows out of the dunes by Lake Michigan while font over them reads, "SUmmertime in Michigan means driving to the nearest lakeshore with your loved ones and spending the day on the coast."

Michigan’s 5 Best Summer Getaways

Summertime in Michigan means driving to the nearest lake shore with your loved ones and spending the day on the coast. The doctors on our team are no different than you; they love the sand between their toes, wearing cool shades, and hanging out with their favorite people.

Whether you prefer “glamping” or setting up camp in the middle of the forest, our Michigan summer getaways have a little something for everyone. Check out our expert doctors’ favorite places to go in the summer:

Charlevoix

If you want to be surrounded by clear blue water (and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that?) then Charlevoix is the getaway for you. With Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake, and Lake Michigan all nearby, there is never a shortage of water activities. Shop downtown boutiques and try local restaurants after a long day in the water. Charlevoix has a great mix of outdoor fun and city life.

Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior

Isle Royale is the place to go when you want to get off the grid and be one with nature. This national park is a remote island positioned right near the Canadian border. The island has no cars and lots of green scenery, which makes it perfect for hiking or jogging. Explore the Greenstone Ridge Trail that links the island’s east and west sides or visit the Rock Harbor lighthouse.

Bad Axe

Set up camp in the thumb when you visit Bad Axe. This small town is just a quick drive from Lake Huron or Saginaw Bay. Like Charlevoix, Bad Axe has a great balance of outdoor exploration and downtown entertainment. If you don’t want to camp, Bad Axe also has options for the glamper on your trip, including everything from cabins to hotels.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

If you are a fan of fast-paced adventure, buckle up and race over to Silver Lake Sand Dunes. With over 2,000 acres of dunes on Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, you’ll have plenty of room to walk or ride the dunes. Bring your own off-the-road vehicles or rent a dune buggy from a local business, and then get out there.

Where will your summer adventure take you? Stop in, tell us about it, and grab some sunglasses to protect your vision! With over 50 locations statewide, we’re never too far away.

A woman runs while listening to an iPhone. White text in front of her reads, "You have to be proactive in order to keep seeing the world clearly throughout your life."

Exercise and Eyesight

Contrary to the popular saying, your eyes are actually the window to your body’s health. A comprehensive eye exam can give a snapshot of your overall general health and wellbeing. What happens to your body also affects your eyes. That’s why changing your diet and exercise regimens can have a positive impact on your vision, as well as on the rest of your body.

Great vision doesn’t occur by itself. You have to be proactive in order to keep seeing the world clearly throughout your life. Our expert team of doctors has exercise tips that will help to kickstart a healthier you – vision and all.

Make Exercise a Priority

Although it can be difficult, making exercise a priority is essential to preserving your vision. Regular exercise has been found to reduce the risk for several eye diseases, including cataracts and glaucoma, two diseases often related to aging eyes.

Exercise Tips

The best kind of exercise to help improve your vision is cardio. Our doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of cardio every day. Make sure to switch up your exercise regularly so you don’t get bored of the same old things.

Cardio exercises like running, aerobics, or cycling help to increase blood flow to all areas of your body, including your retina. Since many vision and eye problems stem from high blood pressure or cholesterol, getting regular cardio in can help keep blood pressure levels where they need to be.

Diet and Exercise

Of course, exercise coupled with a healthy diet is the best way to feel better and see clearly. Try to shop for food that’s rich with Vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3. To learn more about what to add to your shopping list, check out parts one and two of our blogs about good foods for eye health. While you’re at it, make sure you avoid these 5 foods.

Get Involved

One of the best ways to motivate yourself to get active is to involve yourself in an event. Sign up for a marathon or a competition to really get yourself moving. While you’re hitting the pavement, you might even bump into our team. We’ll be running in, and sponsoring, several different upcoming events, including the Girls on the Run 5k, the Amway River Bank Run, and the Kalamazoo Marathon. Sign up to get yourself moving or stop by to cheer on the runners!

Not sure where to start when it comes to exercise and eye health? Schedule a comprehensive eye exam so that our doctors can evaluate your vision and your vision needs. Our team is here to help you stay healthy and ensure your vision is clear.

 

A brand shows blossoming flowers while text reads, "'50 million people in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies.' - American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology."

Itchy Eyes? It Could Be Spring Allergies

Ah, springtime in Michigan. The smell of flowers is in the air, birds are chirping, the sun actually feels warm as it shines, and…what’s that? You can’t see the birds or the flowers because your eyes are itchy? Sounds like all that spring weather also brought out your seasonal allergies.

Our team of experts knows how frustrating it can be when you’re trying to enjoy all spring has to offer, despite battling itchy eyes caused by your seasonal allergies. That’s why we have the tips you need to help you see spring in Michigan comfortably.

How Do I Know If I Have Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies are very common. In fact, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies and that it affects 30% of adults and 40% of children.

The most common seasonal allergy symptoms are eye allergies. Symptoms of eye allergies include having red, itchy, or watery eyes. If you have seasonal allergies, you will also likely have a runny nose and have frequent sneezing fits.

What Causes Seasonal Allergies?

The most common airborne allergens that cause eye irritation are pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander. These are typically harmless substances, but in people who are predisposed to allergic reactions, these substances become allergens. Those allergens become a threat to comfortable vision.

All of these allergens are fairly small, but because of the nature of these substances, seasonal allergies tend to affect the eyes with more severity than food allergies or other allergic reactions.

How Can I Relieve My Seasonal Allergies?

Begin by trying to avoid allergens. If you limit your exposure to the allergens that cause you the most discomfort, you will experience less severe reactions. Because pollen can irritate allergies, make sure you’re particularly careful on days with high pollen counts.

However, we know that it’s next to impossible to sit inside and stare out the window at beautiful Michigan spring weather. Start by wearing glasses instead of contacts when outdoors, since contact lenses can cause your eyes to become more irritated by allergens. Invest in a pair of sunglasses that have wide sides in order to help shield your eyes from pollen when you are out and about. You should also avoid driving with the windows down (I know, I know, we’re no fun) to keep out the buildup of debris and pollen.

One of the best ways to relieve your itchy eyes is to get prescription eye drops. When you schedule an eye exam with one of our doctors, we can help you get on the road to an enjoyable spring season – itch-free!

The hallway of a museum features blue text that reads, "Michigan has a wide variety of great museums that cover topics like art, natural history, and even the history of Great Lakes shipwrecks!"

4 Must-See Museums in Michigan

When we aren’t picking out the perfect frames for our patients or performing expert eye exams, we are exploring our great state. Michigan has a wide variety of great museums that cover topics like art, natural history, and even the history of Great Lakes shipwrecks!

We’ve rounded up our favorite museums to share with you. Check out our favorite places to visit, including one museum that just opened recently.

University of Michigan Natural History Museum

This museum is brand new and is truly out of this world. Head over to Ann Arbor and enjoy the exhibits that range from a trail of Mastodons to flying reptiles. If you want to get out of this world for a night and view the stars in the sky, check out their planetarium dome and theater.

The museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with late night admittance on Thursdays. What’s even better is that the museum is free, and the planetarium is only $8 per person.

Detroit Institute of the Arts

Did you know that the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) is considered to have one of the best art collections in the United States? There is so much culture in the city of Detroit and the DIA captures the culture of the city very well. From mummies and modern art to European art and African masks, the DIA has it all. One of our favorite showcases at the DIA is the General Motors Center for African American Art which contains over 400 pieces by African American Artists.

The DIA is open Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fees range from free to $14.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Ready for three floors of fun and discovery? The Grand Rapids Public Museum features core and traveling exhibits that focus on science, history, and culture. The museum is in the heart of the downtown Grand Rapids area, so after you visit the museum, you are just a few steps away from great dining and more adventure.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fees range from $2 to $12.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

If you are planning a trip up north, definitely make a stop at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise (yes, Paradise) Michigan. Learn about the history of ships on the Great Lakes and about current underwater research. There are many interesting artifacts in the museum from shipwrecks and also from ships who sailed the Great Lakes unscathed.

The museum is open daily in May through October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are family pricing packages and single person admission fees that range from free to $13.

Our team of optometrists and doctors want you to be able to learn about our great state with clear vision. Stop in for an eye exam before you explore these great Michigan museums.

 

A pair of glasses sits on top of a laptop while text next to them reads, "It is helpful to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds."

How to Avoid Eye Strain While Reading

Eye strain is a common condition that can occur when your eyes become tired from heightened use. This is usually caused by driving, reading, or the continual use of digital screens. Although eye strain can be very uncomfortable and annoying, it is generally not a serious condition and often goes away once you take a break to rest your eyes.

However, there are measures you can take to avoid eye strain altogether. Our expert team has put together a few suggestions on how to prevent straining your vision in your day-to-day routine.

Symptoms

You are most likely suffering from eyestrain if your eyes are sore, itchy or burning, especially if your eyes are also notably watery or dry. Vision often becomes blurred or doubled because of eye strain. Your eyes may become sensitive to light, you will typically have trouble concentrating, and you won’t be able to keep your eyes open. Headaches, back pain and neck pain are other common symptoms.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, schedule a visit with your optometrist so that they can properly diagnose you.

Reducing Strain at Home or Work

There are simple remedies to help alleviate eye strain, no matter where you are. Began by reducing the light in your room. To do this, try positioning your light source behind you or try using a shaded light. The shade will keep the light from shining directly in your eyes, which will help decrease symptoms.

Digital Screens

If you use a digital screen often, whether it be for reading or typing away in spreadsheets for work, there are ways to keep eye strain at a minimum.

Blink often to refresh your eyes and prevent them from drying out and take a break from your work every 20 minutes. In fact, we find it helpful to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

It might also help if you adjust your laptop to be at least an arm’s length away. Position the top of the screen so it is at or just below your eye level. You can also adjust your screen settings to enlarge the font in order to make reading from that distance easier.

The digital world can cause more than eye strain. Learn all about how devices are impacting your sight on our recent blog.

Eye Exam

The best thing you can do for your vision is schedule an eye exam. Before your exam, start keeping a log of the time you spend on activities that strain your eyes and note what symptoms you have been experiencing. Your doctor will be able to diagnose and provide treatment to alleviate your eye strain.

Our team of optometrists knows how annoying eye strain can be when you are just trying to enjoy your favorite book, newspaper, or TV show. Follow our tips for improving your symptoms, and stop in for an eye exam so that we can help you further.

 

Several baseballs sit in grass while white font over them reads, "Out baseball-loving opticians have put together everything you will need for a day at the ballpark so you can see the game clearly and protect your vision."

Love Baseball Games? Here’s How to Get the Best View

The true sign that spring is upon Michigan is not the snow melting. It’s Tigers’ Opening Day, of course! Michiganders can finally crawl out of hibernation to go celebrate the start of the spring season by cheering on our beloved Tigers in Comerica Park.

Our baseball-loving opticians have put together everything you will need for a day at the ballpark so you can see the game with clearly and protect your vision.

The Best Seat in the House

To enjoy the game, you’ll want to have great seats, which is why we’ve conducted extensive research on Comerica Park to find the perfect spot. Our studies show that the best view of the diamond is on the lower level, between the dugouts, in sections 120-135. Or, if you prefer an elevated view and a padded seat, head to sections 321-333 for your ideal tickets.

If you are headed to another ballpark (we won’t judge you unless you’re headed to Cleveland), keep in mind while buying tickets that the best view for almost all ballparks is on the lower level between the dugouts.

Baseball Binoculars

No matter where you are sitting, binoculars are a game day must. The game is much more exciting when you can see the reaction of players’ faces. Plus, binoculars make following the position of your favorite player much easier. Having binoculars will keep you from squinting your eyes at the large screen or down at the field, which we all know isn’t good for your vision.

Because we are avid baseball fans, we researched the best binoculars for viewing baseball games. These binoculars give you a wide field of vision, meaning that you can see what is happening across the whole field instead of zeroing in on one section.

Stylish Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays with a pair of prescription sunglasses and see the game without glare. Even though it may not be a high of 75 on opening day, the sun will still be shining and putting your vision at risk. A quality pair of sunglasses will help you enjoy the game even more.

Stop in and ask our opticians about which frames are the best for watching the game. 

The Perfect Hat

Continue to protect your vision with a hat. The bigger the brim, the better for your eyes. What better way is there to support your team than wearing a hat with the iconic “D” on it? Shield your eyes from the sun and cheer on the Tigers, all in one go.

Your Baseball Glove

This is a game day essential. If you don’t bring a baseball glove into the stadium, are you even a true baseball fan? Not only will a glove increase your chances of catching a fly ball, it can help to protect you from any rogue fouls that may be aimed for your face. It sounds far-fetched, but accidents happen! Keep your glove with you to protect your eyes, and you might even leave with a game day souvenir.

Our expert team is here to ensure that you are able to see the game with clarity, even if you’re a Cleveland Indians fan. Are you headed to Detroit for Opening Day? Stop in for an eye exam to make sure that you have the best vision for the game. While you’re here, grab some sunglasses, too. Stop in to one of our 54 locations or call us to set up your appointment today!

 

 

A closeup of a blue eye has text over it that reads, "If you have a lighter eye color, your eyes are more sensitive to light because you have less pigment and melanin in your irises to protect your eyes from the sun."

How Eye Color Impacts Your Vision

Your eye color is unique to you. In fact, no two people have the exact same color of eyes. Because of this, eye color is one of the most distinguishing characteristics for people and is often a big part of identity. We’ve already written about the science behind how you get your eye color, but does that color also affect your vision?

Our expert doctors have shared how your eye color affects your vision:

The Science of Eye Color

In order to understand how eye color affects your vision, it will be helpful to understand how eye color develops. The iris is the colored part of the eye, and the amount of pigmentation within the iris determines your eye color. There are three genes that are responsible for determining the pigmentation. These genes are tied to your melanin levels.

Less melanin in the iris means lighter eye colors, like blue and green, and more melanin makes for darker eye colors, like hazel and brown. Check out our eye color science blog to learn more about determining eye color.

Light vs. Dark

Whether you have light or dark colored eyes, your eye color does actually have an impact on your vision.

If you have a lighter eye color, your eyes are more sensitive to light because you have less pigment and melanin in your irises to protect your eyes from the sun. This means that you could have a greater risk of macular degeneration, and that you might find yourself squinting more when you go outside during the day.

If you have a darker eye color, your eyes can often withstand high glare lights better than light colored eyes can. This is thanks to the greater amount of pigment and melanin in your iris. You could potentially be better at driving at night because your eyes allow for less light to reflect and cause glare. Despite your high light tolerance, though, you should still be wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays.

Sports Performance

There are a few studies that have looked at the impact of eye color on sports performance. The University of Louisville found that people with dark eye colors perform better at reactive tasks like hitting balls and playing defense, while people with light eye colors do better at self-paced tasks like hitting a golf ball, throwing a pitch, or bowling. However, there are not enough studies yet to fully support this theory. For now, it’s just a fun discussion to have with your teammates.

Speaking of teammates, our expert team is here to ensure that you are able to see clearly, regardless of your eye color. An annual eye exam will help you take care of your eyes, whether they are dark or light-colored. Stop in to one of our 54 locations or call us to set up your appointment today!

Yellow tulips stand against a blue sky while text reads, "Springtime is one of the best seasons for festivals in our great state."

5 Michigan Spring Festivals You Can’t Miss

Spring in Michigan is a great time to get outside out and explore. The temperature is just right, not too hot, not too cold; flowers are blooming, and the skies are finally clear of snow. Springtime is also one of the best seasons for festivals in our great state. Wherever you are headed, our team has a fun festival and city for you to discover.

Detroit Tigers Opening Day

While not technically a festival, Opening Day is quite the spring occasion, especially in Detroit. On Thursday, April 4th, the Tigers will play ball for the first time this season against the Kansas City Royals. Score tickets if you want to sit in on the action live, or take a trip to Detroit and stop into any restaurant or bar, as the whole city will be celebrating the start of the season.

Spring break for most schools falls during this week, so if you aren’t heading down to Florida with the rest of Michigan, take a trip to Detroit! Don’t forget to wear your Tigers gear and grab some sunglasses. Need a new pair? Our style-wise opticians would love to help you find the perfect pair for a day at the ballpark.

Tulip Time Festival

For 90 years, the lakeshore town of Holland has been celebrating its Dutch Heritage with their Tulip Time Festival. In 1929, the City of Holland planted its first 100,000 tulips; now there are tulips all over the city for you to enjoy. Although they are the highlight, the tulips are only just part of the Tulip Time Festival! There are Dutch dancers to watch, trolley tours to enjoy, and lots of other Dutch traditions to take part in.

This festival takes place May 4th  to 12th. With new activities happening every day, you won’t want to miss out on any of the fun.

Zingerman’s Camp Bacon

If you love food and history, make your way to Ann Arbor from May 29th to June 2nd to fill your stomach and brain. Appreciate bacon in a whole new way with this fun camp. Zingerman’s Camp Bacon is bringing in speakers to not only talk about the taste and flavor of bacon but also how to alter the flavor of the bacon by what you feed the animal.

We know you’re already salivating, so grab your tickets before they’re gone! 

71st Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival

This 10-day celebration on every Michigander’s favorite island is happening June 7th through 16th. This event kicks off summer on the island – and that’s why we included it! Head up north to start off spring the right way, at the Lilac Festival.

There are plenty of fun activities on the island, from the coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen and Court, a 10k run/walk, and horse-drawn carriage tours, to concerts and wine tastings! No matter who you go with, everyone will be doing something they love. And to top it off, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful Michigan lilacs.

Festival of the Arts 50 Year Celebration

This free, three-day event in downtown Grand Rapids is celebrating its 50th year and we are excited to take in all the art, music, and dancing. Did we mention there is amazing food from various cultures, too? There are countless interactive elements to the festival that kids (or adults!) of any age will enjoy.

If you aren’t able to make it up to Mackinac Island for the Lilac Festival, never fear, Festival of the Arts takes place from June 7th through the 9th, so you’ll still be able to enjoy a Michigan spring festival before spring turns to summer.

 

Ready to take on a Michigan spring adventure? Whether you need sunglasses, a cleaning and adjustment for your glasses, or new contacts, our expert team are here to ensure you see our great state clearly. Stop in to one of our 54 locations or call us to set up your appointment today!

 

A swimmer with goggles surfaces from the water while text reads, "Swimming with contacts in should always be avoided to prevent bacteria from contaminating your eyes."

Contacts vs. The Ocean: Your Eyes and Spring Break

Spring only seems to exist for two weeks in the Midwest, thanks to never-ending snow, and that’s why us Michiganders love spring break more than anyone else! This week of bliss allows us to take a break from miserably cold weather and relax under the sun, with our feet in the sand. If you’re planning a trip down south to the ocean, we are sure you are packing essentials like sunscreen and sunglasses.

Are you also packing your contacts? The ocean and your contacts can be a dangerous mix at times, and we want to help you protect your vision and enjoy your vacation! Our expert team has compiled all the information you need to know in order to keep your eyes and contacts safe this spring break.

Swimming and Contacts

Swimming with contacts in should always be avoided to prevent bacteria from contaminating your eyes. According to the FDA, contacts should not be exposed to any kind of water, including tap water, pool water, and ocean water.

Water is home to many viruses, including the dangerous Acanthamoeba organism, which attaches to contact lenses and can cause the cornea to become infected and inflamed. This can cause permanent vision loss or require a corneal transplant to recover lost vision.

Other eye infections can occur when swimming with contacts, like a corneal ulcer. Corneal ulcers occur when a bacterial infection invades the cornea, and contact lens wearers are the most susceptible to eye irritation, as the lens may rub up against the eye’s surface.

But I Will Wear Goggles!

If you choose to wear contacts while swimming, you can reduce the risk of bacterial infection and irritation by wearing waterproof swim goggles. Swim goggles will help to keep your contact from leaving your eye when swimming.

However, the best way to prevent your eyes from becoming infected while swimming is by taking out your contacts before jumping into the water and putting on a pair of prescription goggles.

Contact Care After Ocean Water

So, you decided to wear your contacts while swimming. Our expert opticians recommend discarding the lenses immediately after swimming, rinsing your eyes with artificial tears, and replacing your contacts with a fresh pair.

If you experience eye irritation or sensitivity to light after wearing your contacts in the water, you need to call your eye doctor immediately.

Do you have more questions about swimming and contacts, or need tips on what eye care essentials to pack for your spring break trip? We would be happy to help you out! Visit one of our 54 locations or give us a call.

Have a safe and fun spring break!

 

 

An eye stares at the camera while font over it reads, "Your diet impacts all parts of your health, including your vision."

Best Foods For Eye Health: Part 2

Your diet impacts all parts of your health, including your vision. In the top five foods for eye health, we shared the importance of a diet that consists of food high in omega-3 acids and how they benefit your vision.

Now we want to share five more foods we love that will support your eye health and vision – and make a tasty meal! Add these items to your shopping list and incorporate them into your diet:

Nuts and Seeds

While nuts and seeds both are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they also contain high amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E great at protecting against age-related eye damage.

Nuts and seeds also make for great on-the-go snacks, stash some in your desk drawer or your purse!

Carrots

Do you know why carrots are orange? It’s because they are full of beta carotene! Beta carotene is a nutrient that helps the body make vitamin A, which in turn boosts your vision in multiple ways.

Vitamin A plays an essential role in your vision health, vitamin A has a protein called rhodopsin. Rhodopsin helps your retina to absorb light.

Sweet Potatoes

Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which means it can help to lower the risk of infections throughout your body and protect your eyes from eye disease, most commonly, age-related macular degeneration.

Sweet potatoes are a great side for your main dish, just make sure you don’t dose it in brown sugar and butter!

Beef

Zinc has been linked to better long-term eye health, including age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. Beef is a meat that contains a high level of zinc, even more than chicken breast and pork.

Zinc will benefit your eye health and vision through strengthening your retina and the tissue around your retina.

Water

While it’s not a food, water should be a part of your everyday routine. Maintaining a healthy balance of fluid in the eye is vital to protecting your eyes. Your eyes are surrounded by fluid that washes away debris and dust every time you blink. When you are not well hydrated your eyes become dehydrated as well.

Remember, including Vitamin E, zinc, and omega-3 rich foods into your diet will help protect your eyes and allow you to have clearer vision, longer.

 

Interested in learning more about the foods you should add to your diet in order to boost your eye health? Schedule an exam with one of our doctors to discuss the steps you can take in order to achieve healthier eyes.

 

 

Dr.Mike Murphy talks on the news while font over him reads, "In the past year, the media has turned to our expert team of doctors and opticians to share our knowledge, resources, and tips with viewers and readers across the state of Michigan."

Rx Optical in the News

At Rx Optical, we understand the importance of educating both our current patient base and the general public on best practices surrounding eye care and your overall health. In the past year, the media has turned to our expert team of doctors and opticians to share our knowledge, resources, and tips with viewers and readers across the state of Michigan.

In addition to being experts in all things related to eye care and eye health, our team is also well versed in the latest eye wear tips and trends. Check out a few of our favorite media highlights, featuring our wonderful team members, from 2018:

A Guide to Glasses

Rose Denney, Optician and Office Manager at the Grandville Rx Optical location, sat down with West Michigan Woman in April 2018 to share insight into how she helps patients pick out the perfect frames that fit their face shape and overall style. Rose’s training and education make her an expert in both eye care and personal eye wear styling. Check out the full piece here.

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National Sunglasses Day

National Sunglasses Day, celebrated annually on June 27, is, unsurprisingly, one of our favorite days of the season. Anthony McConer, Office Manager at Rx Optical Breton Village, stopped by the FOX 17 studios to chat about why it is vital that you wear sunglasses with proper UV protection. He also covered different style trends and discussed how to pick the right frame size and shape.

Check out Anthony’s interview here. We can’t wait for National Sunglasses Day this year!

Rx Optical discusses the importance of sunglasses.

Back-to-School Tips

Getting ready to send your kids back to school in August can seem like a daunting task. From gathering new school supplies to learning how to fall back into a normal routine, there is a lot to take care of. One very important item that tends to be overlooked: a comprehensive eye exam for children. Dr. Sherah Eavey sat down with WOOD-TV to share a few of the red flags to be aware of when it comes to children’s eye health issues.

Check out the must-see, back-to-school segment here.

Rx Optical's Dr. Sherah Eavey talks about back to school tips for kids and their eyes.

Halloween Horrors

Our doctors always keep an eye out for potential eye health threats based on the season. Dressing up for Halloween in the fall is always a fun tradition, however, the trend of unregulated cosmetic lenses are posing serious threats to users. Dr. Mike Murphy shared the dangers of cosmetic contact lenses with the team at WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

Check out the vision-saving interview here.

Dr. Mike Murphy discusses the dangers of cosmetic contact lenses.

At Rx Optical, we are committed to educating and informing patients and the general public about the latest eye care news, tips or threats. We also love being the go-to experts for eye wear fashion trends. No matter the season, and no matter the topic, our team at Rx Optical has you covered.

Keep your eyes peeled for more of our doctors and opticians being featured in the media in 2019. Want to meet our talented team of media stars? Find a location near you or schedule your appointment online today.

A dark blue outline of the state of Michigan rests on a light blue background while text reads, "Rx Optical has deep roots in Michigan, and we love being in a state that has four distinct seasons, each bringing something new and exciting to try."

The Best Spring Staycations in Michigan

There is nothing quite like springtime in Michigan. The snow is starting to melt (hopefully), flowers begin to bloom, and it is one of the best times to explore our great state, as the full tourist season doesn’t hit until the summer months.

Rx Optical has deep roots in Michigan, and we love being in a state that has four distinct seasons, each bringing something new and exciting to try. We are sharing with you our favorite spring, in-state staycation spots, so start planning ahead and get ready for a great getaway:

Ann Arbor

Downtown Ann Arbor has great shops and tasty restaurants perfect for weekend exploring. Venture into the many book stores and unique gift shops, or check out the botanical gardens on the University of Michigan’s campus to watch spring plants bloom. You can rent bikes at the Campus Student Bike Shop and cycle down the streets of Ann Arbor or rent a canoe at Argo Canoe Livery on the Huron River and explore Ann Arbor by water.

Grand Haven

Visit southwest Michigan’s lakeshore in the scenic city of Grand Haven. A cozy beach town and U.S. Coast Guard station, Grand Haven is home to a stunning pier along the beach with two scenic lighthouses. You can bike down the boardwalk and stop in at all the different shops, or take a boat out on Lake Michigan and fish for salmon, steelhead, and trout.

Copper Harbor

Ready to travel to the far edges of Michigan? Buckle up and head to Copper Harbor! Located at the top of the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior, this staycation will take you on an unforgettable Northern Michigan adventure. From the forest to the water, there is no shortage of exciting things you can do, and explore, in Copper Harbor. 

Traverse City

Not ready to venture all the way to the Upper Peninsula? Then be sure to check out Traverse City, which is a bit more central. This waterfront city has great water activities, including boating and kayaking, so stop by TC Watersports for a fun day in the Traverse Bay. If the water is too cold and you don’t want to risk being splashed, you can always hike the trails and enjoy the spring colors at Hickory Meadows Preserve.

Wherever you end up exploring in Michigan this spring, make sure to pack a pair of sunglasses! Protect your eyes from the sun’s dangerous UV rays and explore our great state in style! We would love to help you find the perfect pair of frames for your trip, so stop in and see us today!

 

A woman wearing pink holds up pink tortoise shell glasses while text next to her reads, "Ready to fall in love with your glasses?"

Falling in Love with Your Glasses

Whether you’ve been wearing glasses your entire life, or just got your first pair, it is important that you feel comfortable in your frames and love wearing them. Why? Glasses are an important part of your everyday wardrobe and something that you should be able to have a little fun with. Once you find a perfect pair of glasses that make you swoon, be sure to treat them with extra care.

Ready to fall in love with your glasses? Our team of experts are here to help you find the perfect match.

Finding the Perfect Pair

Just because glasses may be a necessity, or something you depend on, doesn’t mean they can’t also be seen as a fun accessory. With endless style options available, there is no doubt that every person can find a pair of glasses that perfectly suits them.

A great place to start is looking at frames that will complement your face shape, and lucky for you, we have created a guide to help you do just that.

If you’re unsure of what type of frame you are looking for, let our expert team of opticians, who have a great sense of style and knowledge of the latest eyewear trends, help you. By taking many different style factors into account, our team will be able to find you a pair of glasses that you not only love, but that will leave you with a renewed sense of confidence.

Our experienced opticians are dedicated to providing Rx Optical patients with the best experience possible and can help you pick from the more than 40 designer brands that we carry. Try on as many as you need, as we know finding the perfect match takes a little time!

Take Care

After you’ve fallen in love with your glasses, you’ll want to keep them safe and clean. It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-time glasses wearer, or just picked up your first pair yesterday, bad habits surrounding your glasses care can develop quickly.

When taking care of your glasses, don’t forget to:

  • Use both hands when putting them on or taking them off, as this will keep frames from becoming misaligned.
  • Keep them on your nose, not on top of your head.
  • Store them in a safe place at night. Whether it is on a level night stand, or in a case, make sure the arms are gently folded in and they are resting on the arms, never the lenses.
  • Clean your lenses regularly.

Keeping your lenses clean is important when it comes to ensuring you are getting the clearest view possible. We carry an effective lens cleaning kit at all of our locations. The Rx Optical PHD-50 Lens Cleaning Kit, which is included with our Worry-Free Warranty, contains a 6-ounce cleaner spray bottle, 30 pre-moistened lens cloths, and a microfiber cloth. Our cleaning solution is safe for all lenses and coatings, and was developed to work fast. The kit is available for $12.95 when purchased separately from our Worry-Free Warranty.

Speaking of our Worry-Free Warranty, it is always better to be safe than sorry. We offer a comprehensive 25-month warranty that will help ease your mind and keep your glasses safe. Our warranty covers scratched, broken, or lost eyeglasses.

Because we want you to love your glasses each and every day, our team at Rx Optical is dedicated to helping you find your perfect match! Not loving your current glasses or think you might need a change? Stop by and see us soon!

A person holds a basket of vegetables while copy over them reads, "Our eyes are vascular, meaning that it is important to have a heart-healthy diet to keep the blood vessels that service our eyes healthy."

The Worst Foods for Your Eye Health

You know the saying, “You are what you eat”? The food you eat plays a huge part in your health.

Our eyes are vascular, meaning that it is important to have a heart-healthy diet to keep the blood vessels that service our eyes healthy. Tiny capillaries provide your retina with nutrients and oxygen; because these vessels are so small, fatty deposits can easily cause blocked veins.

We’ve shared with you the foods that will boost your eye health. Now, our expert team of doctors have compiled a list of the foods that are harmful to the health of your eyes.

Condiments, Toppings, and Dressings

The toppings that you likely store in your refrigerator door like mayonnaise, salad dressing, or jelly, are all high in fat.

Rather than using these options for flavor on your next sandwich, burger, or salad, try using natural flavors like green vegetables or toppings that are packed with vitamin C, like a squeeze of fresh lemon. Get great flavor with natural foods without sacrificing your nutritional benefits!

White or Plain Colored Foods

Think about the white foods that you eat: pasta, white bread, rice, and flour tortillas. These foods offer almost no nutritional benefit, just simple carbohydrates that give a rush of energy that are followed by a crash.

If you are eating these foods, be sure to add greens and foods that rich with omega-3 to the meal to provide yourself with nutritional benefits. Or, swap them for healthier alternatives that use whole grains.

Fatty Meats

Red meats and sausages are often convenient to purchase, especially when you are buying from the deli. Lunch meats can seem healthy but are mostly full of chemical preservatives, salt, fat, and cholesterol.

Instead of consuming fatty meats, try adding in lean meats like fresh turkey, which is full of zinc and protein. Salmon is good alternative as well, as it is an omega-3 rich food.

Margarine

Margarine is often marketed as a healthy alternative to butter, but is full of trans fats that can adversely affect your cholesterol.

Instead, try using coconut, avocado, or olive oil as an alternative to both margarine and butter to avoid trans fats.

Unsaturated Fats

Junk foods are delicious but can cause serious issues down the line for your health if you consume too many. Rather than eating French fries, cookies, or potato chips, which are all full of unsaturated fats, swap them out for healthy saturated fats.

Lean meats, fish, fresh fruits and veggies, and low-fat or non-dairy products are the best way to receive healthy fats.

 

We want to help you eat healthy so that your vision remains clear and focused. Do you have questions about how to eat healthy for your eyes? We would love to see you! Stop in or schedule your appointment today.

 

A blue eye looks forward while text reads, "Eyes are unique to every individual person, almost like a fingerprint."

The Science Behind Eye Color

Eyes are unique to every individual person, almost like a fingerprint. But, have you ever found yourself wondering, for example, why your eyes are brown and your sister’s eyes are blue? Shouldn’t you have the same eye color if you are related? The science behind eye color is a little more complicated than what you may have learned in your high school biology class.

Basic Biology Breakdown

In high school biology you probably covered genetics and dominant and recessive genes. In order to fully understand this, you likely did an activity where you traced your eye color back to your parent’s. However, understanding how dominant and recessive genes play into eye color is just scraping the surface of the science behind your eyes.

Melanin and Genetics

Different eye color is caused by the melanin in your iris. The iris is a flat, colored, ring shape behind the cornea of the eye. Less melanin in the iris means lighter eye colors, like blue and green, and more melanin in the iris makes for darker eye colors, like hazel and brown. Melanin isn’t the only factor in determining eye color.

Like you learned in high school, genes do play a role, but it isn’t just the one gene you were taught. The gene OCA2 determines how much melanin you will have in the iris, because it produces protein. Less protein means blue or green eyes. The gene HERC2 limits the OCA2 gene. So, the more that HERC2 limits the OCA2 gene, means less melanin in the iris.

Melanocyte Activity

Melanocyte is the mature, melanin-forming cell. The activity level of melanocyte in babies can contribute to a change in eye color up until their 1st birthday. If melanocytes secrete only a small amount, a baby will have blue eyes. If melanocytes are very active, a baby will have brown eyes.

Did you know that most American Caucasian babies begin their life with blue eyes, but only 1 in 6 adults retain the blue eye color?

Anomalies

Sometimes, eye color is determined by anomalies in melanin and genetics. Heterochromia Iridium is a condition where each eye is a different color. Heterochromia Iridium occurs when there are anomalies in the iris. Only 6 in 1,000 have this condition.

Most people know that David Bowie has 2 different eye colors, so you may think that he has Heterochromia. Bowie’s condition, however, comes from eye damage from a fight as a teen over a girl, which led to a permanently dilated pupil, which is known as anisocoria. Max Scherzer, former Detroit Tigers pitcher, currently with the Washington Nationals, does, however, have Heterochromia.

 

At Rx Optical, we understand your eyes and the intricate science behind them. We would love to see you and learn more about your eye color and your eye health. Schedule your appointment with us online today.