"If you're someone who struggles with red and irritated eyes brought on by springtime madness, this blog's for you.

Seasonal Allergies and Your Eyes

Spring is one of our favorite times of the year. If you’ve lived here in Michigan for a while like we have (73 years), then you know nothing compares to spring in this beautiful state. And while we love the season, its beautiful flowers, crisp air, and freshly cut grass, we know the allergies that come with it can be a total downer.

But never fear! We here at Rx Optical are seasoned pros and have come prepared to share all of our tips and tricks for combating whatever the season might throw at you. If you’re someone who struggles with red, irritated eyes brought on by springtime madness, this blog’s for you.

Why Your Eyes Itch 

When the seasons change, so do the particles that blow around in the air. As this happens, seasonal allergies can often pop up. It might mean a bunch of new flowers, but it also spells trouble for your eyes.

Eye allergies happen when your body overreacts to its surroundings. When this happens, your immune system starts to create antibodies. Those make your eyes release histamine, a chemical that helps your body to get rid of the things that bother it. That results in an allergic reaction, redness and all that fun stuff.

Allergies are never a good thing, but even though they can be uncomfortable, they normally aren’t a big cause for concern. So don’t worry! Still, if your symptoms get bad, call your doctor. Infections and other conditions can also have similar symptoms.

Types of Allergies

There are two types of allergies that can irritate your eyes: seasonal and perennial.

Seasonal allergies are very common and typically stay true to their name. That means they occur whenever the seasons change. Common triggers include pollen from grass, trees, flowers, weeds and mold.

People with perennial allergies unfortunately deal with their allergies year round. If you have perennial allergies, you’re probably allergic to common things like dust mites, feathers, and animals.

How to Help Your Eyes

Your eyes do a lot for you, so treat them right, especially when dealing with allergies. The best thing you can do for your eyes is to avoid your triggers! Once you’ve identified what sets off your allergies, help your eyes out by avoiding things that cause irritation.

For example, if you’re someone who suffers from pollen allergies, try staying indoors when pollen counts are highest. This is normally around mid-morning and early evening.

When you do go outdoors, make sure to wear sunglasses. Not only will they help protect your vision from harmful UV rays, but they can also help block some of the pollen from getting to your eyes. When driving on a warm sunny day, keep your windows up, too. That will keep your eyes from getting additional pollen exposure while you’re driving down the road.

Last but not least, don’t rub your eyes! If they’re irritated, adding additional pressure and disturbance will only increase your discomfort. Soothe your eyes with some of these methods, like removing your contacts and using a saline rinse.

 

Some over-the-counter and prescription medications will give you short-term relief, but it never hurts to talk to a general health professional and your eye doctor. Schedule an appointment with us! We would love to talk more about keeping you and your eyes happy and healthy.

 

 

Rx Optical Blog Image Indoor UV 03.04.20

Protect Your Eyes from Indoor UV

If you’ve read any of our blogs, you’ve probably noticed that we love to tell you to wear sunglasses. Why? Well, because they’re good for your eyes.

Still, a lot of people think you only need sunglasses in the summer. And even more people think you only need them when you’re outside. That’s why we’re jumping into the wonderful world of indoor UV. Buckle up. This’ll be a ride.

UV Indoors

UVA radiation comes from the sun. These rays are invisible, and they’ve been tied to a lot of negative effects on the human body, like cancers and vision damage. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself from them all year round.

However, a lot of UVA rays can still pass through windows. Have you ever gotten a sunburn during a long car ride? That’s why! The rays pass through the glass and hit your skin, even when you’re not outside. Ouch!

Protect Your Vision Inside

So how do you make sure your eyes don’t get damaged? It’s hard to get rid of all of the UVA rays in your life. In fact, even fluorescent bulbs emit it! But you can cut back on the amount that reaches you.

Try hanging up curtains over large windows and making sure that you aren’t sitting in or staring into direct sunlight. If you have to sit in a sunny space, toss on a pair of shades, just like you would if you were outside. If you have to squint to see, it means your eye is straining and your sunglasses could provide some much-needed relief.

Keep in mind that polycarbonate and Trivex lenses offer 100% protection from UV light. We recommend these lens materials to most of our patients. This means that just by wearing your glasses, your eyes could already be protected indoors!

Protect Your Vision in Cars

When you’re on the road, it’s important to keep your eyes focused. We’ve all had a moment when we’ve squinted at oncoming traffic because of the sun. It’s not a fun experience!

Make sure to keep a pair of sunglasses in your car for whenever you’re driving, even in the winter. Although we are all used to the doom and gloom of Michigan winters, the glare from the white snow when the sun does come out can be blinding. Go above and beyond by packing some shades for your family, too, especially on long car trips.

Are you taking a road trip for Spring Break? Try wearing a hat with a brim along with your glasses. This can shade your eyes and keep harmful rays from hitting your vision. That way you can arrive at your vacation safely and in style.

 

Need help finding a pair of polarized or unpolarized sunglasses that fit your look? Our team is ready to help. Schedule an appointment with us, and we’ll take care of you and your eyes.

Rx Optical Blog Image Spring Break Eye Safety 02.24.20

Spring Break Eye Safety Tips

Spring break is right around the corner, but before you take off for your well-deserved vacation, we want to make sure you’ve packed all the essentials. If you are anything like us, you have your checklist ready to go. While the bathing suit, towel and sunscreen are wildly important for enjoying the sun and sand, we have a few last-minute items we need to make sure find their way into your carry on.

It’s time to learn all the best ways you can protect your eyes this spring break.

Sunglasses

It wouldn’t be an Rx Optical blog if we didn’t encourage you to wear some form of eye protection, right? And since spring vacation is best associated with time spent by the ocean or pool, it should be no surprise that we are asking you to pack your sunglasses. They help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Water often has a glare that can damage your eyes if they aren’t properly protected by polarized eyewear. Excessive UV exposure can cause severe damage and eye pain. It can even lead to macular degeneration and cataracts. If that’s not enough reason to wear sunglasses, just remember: sunglasses are also a great poolside accessory.

Contacts

If you are a contact wearer, be sure to remove your contact lenses before heading into the pool or ocean. Soft lenses can change shape in water. That can cause discomfort and potential damage to the cornea and eye. Along with discomfort, having water trapped under you contact lens can increase your chances of infection, since microorganisms floating in pools can get trapped between the contact and your eye.

To be safe, remove your contact lenses and pack your goggles! It’s a sure way to protect your eyes and enjoy your vaction.

Pack the Eye Care Essentials

We know packing for vacation can be stressful, but whatever you do, don’t forget to pack your eyecare essentials. We’re talking contact solution, extra contacts, and a lens cleaning cloth. Though these aren’t the most glamourous items in your suitcase, you will thank yourself later for being able to enjoy your trip without a hassle.

We’ve already mentioned it, but don’t forget your sunglasses. If you don’t have a pair, come see us!

Before you leave, schedule an eye exam with us. We can’t wait to hear all about your upcoming plans and to ensure you are fully prepared for the adventure ahead. So, schedule an appointment with us, pack your sunglasses and enjoy your spring break! We will be sending you happy and warm wishes from each of our 56 different locations.

Rx Optical Blog Image Spring Festivals 02.12.20

Upcoming Michigan Spring Festivals

What’s that? It may be February, but we’ve heard that spring is on its way! While the snow is putting a damper on things, our team is still excited and looking forward to warmer days, flowers, and rainbows.

But that’s not all we’re excited for! Our great state of Michigan is known for being a destination throughout the year, and spring is no exception. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some upcoming seasonal festivals that we can’t wait to attend. Break out your calendars, it’s time to start planning!

Maple Syrup Festival – Lansing

If your family has a sweet tooth, this is the festival for you. The Maple Syrup Festival is the perfect event for the whole family. Stop by Lansing on March 14th so you and the family can learn about how maple sap is turned into syrup, all while munching on some sweet treats.

The festival even hosts a fundraiser that features pancakes flying through the air. Grab a fresh plate of hotcakes, drizzle them with pure maple syrup, and start making some memories.

Since the festival is mostly outside, be sure to pack some hats with wide brims or your sunglasses. These can help shield your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun while you’re out enjoying nature.

Fool Moon – Ann Arbor

That’s right. You heard us. It’s time to get foolish! Every year, Ann Arbor hosts a fun festival that celebrates all things silly. We’re talking about Fool Moon.

When you visit Ann Arbor from April 3-5, you’ll be greeted by over-the-top costumes, wide smiles, and fun for the whole family. Make a massive puppet, take part in a community workshop, and find a reason to laugh!

While you’re packing, be sure to bring nutritious snacks so you and your family don’t get hungry. After all, it’s hard to be in a good mood when your stomach is growling.

Tulip Time ­– Holland

If we’re going to give you a blog about spring, we have to mention one of the biggest festivals in our state! Holland’s Tulip Time has been called “America’s Best Small-Town Festival,” and we couldn’t agree more.

This year’s festival is scheduled for May 2-10, and it’ll be filled to the brim with the sights and smells of tulips. This celebration of Dutch heritage and spring beauty is always a hit. Make sure to stop by for the carnival, Dutch heritage exhibits, and more.

While you’re there, be sure to pack sunglasses for you and your family. It’s important to wear your sunglasses all year round, but May can also bring even more sunshine than the months leading up to it. Pack those shades to protect your vision from harmful UV rays.

 

What’s your favorite Michigan spring festival? We’d love to hear all about it when you schedule an appointment with us. We’ll get you the eyewear you need so you can enjoy spring to the fullest.

 

A blue graphic that reads "Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over sixty."

What You Need to Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration

It’s February! You know what that means. The groundhog saw his shadow, love is in the air, and it’s time to talk about age-related macular degeneration (AMR).

If that last one tripped you up a little, you’re not alone. It turns out that February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month! Who knew? A lot of people haven’t heard of the condition, and even fewer people know what it is. So in honor of the season, we decided to give you a rundown of all the things you need to know.

How It Happens

Although you might not have heard of it, age-related macular degeneration is actually the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over sixty.

This condition happens when the center of your retina (which in case you didn’t know, is the thin layer of tissue that covers the inside layer of the back of your eye) wears down over time. The retina is the part of your eye that senses lights, and the center of your retina, also known as the macula, is the most sensitive part of the whole thing.

Age-related macular degeneration is when the macula breaks down over time, which means it normally affects people in the second half of their lives.

What to Watch For

It’s common for vision to change as you age. That’s why it’s important to get regular comprehensive eye exams. They can help find important warning signs of a whole bunch of vision conditions before it’s too late.

It’s important to visit your eye doctor regularly, but you may want to make another appointment soon if you’re experiencing:

  • Blurry or dark areas in the center of your vision
  • White areas in the center of your vision
  • A change in how you see color

Keep in mind that people with age-related macular degeneration might not experience any symptoms until the condition has progressed. That’s why it’s important to have your eye doctor test for the condition if you’re over the age of sixty.

We want to make sure you have clear, healthy vision for as long as possible. Make sure to schedule an eye exam with us so we can make sure you have great eye care from a team you can trust. We can’t wait to see you soon!

A photo of Elizabeth Cooley, Rx employee, receiving an eye exam.

Bifocals, Astigmatism, and Clear Vision

As you know, our blogs are here to entertain you, but more importantly, they are here to teach you about your eyes. While “what’s the definition of an astigmatism?” may never be a question you find yourself asking on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of your eyes. After all, they’re the things that guide you through life.

Come join us on our educational journey. It will be filled with fun times and eye care knowledge.

Bifocals

Let us guess. When you hear bifocals you think of Ben Franklin and your grandparents, right? But what if we told you they are far more common and exciting that you really think?

Any multifocal lens contains two or more lens powers that are positioned according to a person’s vision needs. So, bifocals are exactly that: they have two different lens powers. Typically, the top portion of the lens helps people see far away, while the bottom half of the lens is a different power that can help improve vision when things are close.

Bifocals are typically associated with people who are over 40 because that’s the age that most people notice symptoms of presbyopia. Presbyopia is when someone naturally loses the ability to see things that are close to them clearly. So next time you catch yourself holding your menu or newspaper an arm’s length away, it might be time to ask us about bifocals.

And if you are worried about a harsh line with multifocal lenses, don’t be! A progressive lens gradually changes its lens power as it goes from the top to the bottom of the lens without any chunky transitions between.

Astigmatism

Next up, astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a common vision condition that occur when the cornea, which is the clear cover on the eye, or the curvature of the eye is shaped irregularly. The shape prevents light from properly reaching the retina, which is the light sensitive surface located at the back of the eye. And that makes vision blurry at a distance.

Astigmatism can be hereditary and present at birth, so there aren’t many ways to prevent it. However, scheduling a comprehensive eye exam is a great place to start. If necessary, we can even prescribe lens or contacts to fix the astigmatism and alter the way light reaches your eye.

Okay, ready for the fun part? A lot of people think that people with astigmatism can’t have progressive lenses, but that’s not true! If you have trouble seeing up close and far away, bifocals can help you out, even if you have an astigmatism. So don’t doubt your eyewear possibilities! Schedule an appointment with us and let us help you see clearly, no matter what the distance is.

Your eyes do a lot for you. They even helped you read this blog. Take your self-care routine one step further and treat your eyes to a pair of BluTech lenses, sunglasses and a comprehensive eye exam. We can’t wait to see you soon.

An image of a phone against a black table.

Is Dark Mode Better for Your Eyes?

If you have a smart phone, laptop, tablet or other electronic device, you have probably been forced to make the decision between the dark and light mode screen setting. Even if you haven’t shifted your phone’s theme, individual social media apps are offering dark mode settings nowadays, too.

Well, as you know, we are all about eye health here at Rx Optical. That’s why we wanted to talk about the new dark mode option and answer the big question: does dark mode actually help your eyes?

Readability

Let’s talk about reading on screens. Black text on a white background is best, since the color properties and light are best suited for the human eye. That’s because white reflects every wavelength in the color spectrum.

The reason it’s easy to see white isn’t unlike why we recommend wearing sunglasses when there’s snow on the ground. Because of the reflection, our irises don’t need to open as wide to absorb the white light. That leaves our irises in a neutral position and allows us to see with better clarity. This is especially true when white light is contrasted against black, which absorbs wavelengths instead of reflecting them.

White text on a black background, or “dark mode,” makes the eye work harder and open wider, since it needs to absorb more light. When this happens, the white letters can bleed into the black background and cause the text to blur, which is also known as the “halation” effect.

What’s the moral of the story? For our e-readers out there, we recommend sticking with “light mode,” or dark text on a light background.

Eye Strain

The jury is still out on whether or not dark mode is better for reducing eye strain, but we can confirm a few things:

  • Dark mode can reduce eye strain in low-light conditions.
  • 100% contrast (white on a black background) can be harder to read and cause more eye strain.
  • It can be harder to read long chunks of text with a light-on-dark theme.

In essence, we recommend using a dark theme when you’re in low light or when you don’t plan to read for long periods of time.

If you do a fair amount of reading, stick to light mode. Even though black text is easier to read, it might be a good idea to try a gray background and control your screen’s brightness. Test out a dark theme at night and a light theme during the day or just experiment.

So What’s the Verdict?

You might have clicked on this blog hoping for a straight answer about whether or not dark themes are good for your eyes. Unfortunately, like we just described, it’s not so black and white. In fact, depending on how you use your device, each mode has its own advantages.

No matter what mode your device is set to, we recommend BluTech Lenses, which help to prevent excess exposure to blue light emitted off of tech devices. Despite whatever mode your devices are in, your eyes will be protected.

Also, come see us. The best way to keep your eyes safe and healthy is to get them checked regularly.

An image of a doctor administering an eye test to another woman.

Eye Care Basics for All Ages

Protecting your eyes is simple and easy if you know the best practices. Even if you don’t, we’ve got you covered! While our tips and recommendations may seem too simple to be true, good habits can help promote healthy vision, no matter what age you are.

Eat Right

Yes, you really are what you eat!

Good health and healthy eyes all begin with the foods you eat. You’ve probably heard that carrots can help to improve your vision, but did you know eating fish, leafy greens, eggs, citrus fruits and legumes can also positively benefit your eyes? Yup! They all contain nutrients that help benefit eye health. By adding, Vitamin C, A, Zinc and Omega-3 rich foods into your diet, you’re helping to protect your eyes and promote clearer vision.

Next time you’re browsing the grocery store aisle, try to avoid reaching for those fatty foods! Your eyes will thank you.

Wear Sunglasses

You knew it was coming! Sunglasses are essential for maintaining healthy eyes because they protect against harmful UV rays.

Wearing sunglasses is a good idea during all seasons, even winter! No matter the weather, UV rays can still peek through the clouds and cause severe eye damage later on in life. For most people, we recommend using polarized lenses. They can provide glare protection, along with UV protection to keep your eyes happy and healthy.

If you work as a pilot or spend time on the ice, we might recommend a different type of lens for you. Stop in to learn more!

Take a Break

Since technology is so easily accessible, it can be hard to find time in your day when you aren’t looking at a screen. Taking time to avoid the screens and the blue light that projects off of them is good practice for your eyes’ wellbeing.

If you’re looking for additional measures to help protect your vision against blue light, try Blutech Lenses. These will block the blue light from reaching your eyes. By reducing your exposure, you will likely find you sleep better, suffer from less eye strain and become more productive.

Use Eye Protection

Never forget to practice healthy eye habits and protect your eyes when playing sports or working with airborne materials.

Sports like hockey and lacrosse can lead to eye injury without the proper protection. The same can be said for common household chores like mowing the lawn, which can stir up dirt and dust near your eyes. By wearing safety goggles or sports glasses, you can protect your eyes from the unpredictable.

We can tell you to eat your veggies, look away from the screens, and to wear sunglasses, but the best thing you can do is schedule your annual checkup! Do you need help getting started? Try scheduling an exam with us. Just click here!

Rx Optical Blog Image BluTech Lenses 01.13.20

Combating Blue Light with BluTech Lenses

Think back on your week. Better yet, look at your past month or even the past year. How much time have you spent staring at a screen? We aren’t here to alarm you, but we are here to tell you that all that digital exposure can be damaging your eyes and affect your vision.

Digital screens emit blue light, and that can have a negative impact on your vision. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to your blue light blues: BluTech Lenses. It’s time to break down what blue light is, how it can affect your eyes, and how these lenses help.

Blue Light Basics

Have you ever been staring at a screen for a while, only to find that you have a headache? It’s easy to bring on a headache from eye strain while using screens that emit blue light.

Blue light is one of the shortest wavelengths of visible light, and it also has some of the highest energy. When you stare at a digital screen, it produces massive amounts of blue light so you can see the images that it projects. That’s all good, except it can really take a toll on your vision, since our eyes can’t block out blue light well.

The other problem with blue light is that it can keep you awake. If you’re stuck staring at a smartphone late into the night, you might have a harder time falling asleep, and we all know lack of sleep can bring on a whole host of other side effects.

Blue Light and Vision

As we mentioned, if you get overexposed to blue light, you might find yourself suffering from sleep problems, headaches, Computer Vision Syndrome or eye strain. It’s time to take a break from your screen if you have dry eyes, blurred vision, a headache, or any other sort of vision change. Schedule a visit with us, too, so we can make sure there isn’t any other underlying cause.

We know that you can’t function in today’s society without spending at least some time on a digital screen. Don’t worry. We have a solution.

BluTech Lenses and You

BluTech Lenses are designed to filter out the blue light that your eye can’t block on its own. They cut back on exposure so you can protect your eyes, all while typing away at your desk or browsing on your phone. Plus, since they filter out that light, they can help you sleep better and feel ready to take on your day.

Many people don’t realize that they need protective eyewear while working. Our team is happy to offer BluTech Lenses that can match your lifestyle and help reduce your symptoms, so you can get back to enjoying your day.

Are you ready to stop suffering from blue light? Want to learn more about BluTech Lenses? Schedule an appointment with us today. We can’t wait to see you.

Rx Optical Blog Image Eyewear Predictions 01.02.20

2020 Vision: Eyewear Trends in the New Year

Drum roll, please!

The ball has dropped, the calendar has flipped, and the confetti has been thrown! A new year means we once again get to identify this year’s upcoming trends. And we don’t just mean any trends‒we’re talking about eyewear trends!

So, sit down and buckle in, because we are talking all things trendy for 2020 (and 20/20) vision! From color to style, we’ve got you covered for making this year’s you the most stylish one yet.

90s

Everyone loves a throwback or vintage feel. That’s why this season, we’re inspired by 90s fashion icons. Forget about the cat eye look and head straight for the round frames. We love wire frames with sleek style like these ones from Polo Ralph Lauren (Rx SKU: 8053672797794)!

Trust us. Pair them with a jean jacket and some high-top shoes. You’ll nail the look and have great vision. It’s a win-win!

90s glasses

Clear Frames

Some things never go out of style, and clear frames are definitely on that list.

This frame from Oliver Peoples (Rx SKU: 827934414617) is the perfect pair of glasses because it goes with absolutely everything! No matter the outfit, your glasses will add a great finishing touch. The other wonderful feature of clear frames is that you can find them in almost every shape. If you have your eye on a certain style, grab them in clear and you’re good to go!

Clear Frames

Tortoise

Let’s talk patterns!

This year, we are loving the tortoise pattern, especially in the traditional brown speckled style. Just like the clear frames, this pattern is widely popular and comes in almost every shape of frame. So, reference the best frames for your face shape, and then find a pair in tortoise! It’s as simple as that!

If you are feeling fun and wild, try these fun green tortoise frames from ­­­Longchamp (Rx SKU: 886895327060).

Tortoise Frames

Chunky Frames

2020 is the year for being big and bold! Show off that confidence with a pair of chunky frames, like these frames from Coach (Rx SKU: 725125995788).

The oversized frames are a perfect statement look that will set you and your eyes in motion for a fabulous year.

Chunky Frames

Sunglasses

If you are a frequent reader, you know we are all about eye health and encourage you to wear sunglasses all year long! So, this year, we want you to start off strong by wearing sunglasses, even in the winter.

Sunglasses

Try stopping in for distinctive frames and effective lenses. Just take a look at these frames from Ray-Ban (Rx SKU: 805289742470). Don’t they just make you want to slip on some shades?

We think the best way to start a new year is to ensure your eyes are happy and healthy. Schedule an appointment with us! Once we assess your eyes, we’ll help you find the perfect pair of glasses to set you up for a great 2020.

An image of a doctor working on an eye testing machine.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma

Happy 2020, Rx Optical readers! While we hope you had a great 2019, we are extremely excited for the new year. This coming year might even be our favorite, because it gives us the opportunity to make an insane amount of 20-20 vision references. So, stay tuned!

It may be a year full of jokes, references and subtle puns, but it’s also a year of eye education.

Did you know that January is Glaucoma Awareness Month? Let’s talk about the signs and symptoms of this tricky condition.

What is Glaucoma?

You’ve probably heard of glaucoma, but you might not know what it is. Well, glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve. This nerve is located at the back of the eye and is what connects the eye to the brain. It sends light signals to your mind and allows you to see.

One type of glaucoma, called primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), typically happens gradually, when eye fluid doesn’t drain as well as it should. Because of this, pressure is built up within the eye and the optic nerve gets damaged.

Another type, angle-closure glaucoma, happens rather quickly and is the result of the iris being too close to the drainage angle in the eye. This then blocks the eye from its draining capabilities, which causes eye pressure to rise quickly.

Symptoms

Those who suffer from angle-closure glaucoma may experience no symptoms prior to an attack, so it’s best to call your doctor if you experience blurred vision, mild headaches or eye pain.

Other glaucoma related symptoms may include:

  • Blind spots: Glaucoma causes lack of sight and frequent blind patches in your peripheral or main line of vision.
  • Tunnel vision: In advanced stages of POAG, tunnel vision, or trouble viewing objects that are not close to the center of the field of view, may occur.
  • Halos: Halos are circular and bright shapes that surround lights. These are a known indicator for glaucoma.
  • Eye pain: Glaucoma can cause pain both on the surface and deeper within the eye as a result of the disease. This should not be taken lightly. If you’re experiencing pain, schedule an eye appointment

 

Additional symptoms of glaucoma include headache, nausea, vomiting, seeing rainbows, redness of the eye, and more.

Did you know that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States? If you experience any of the symptoms above, come see us. We want to make sure we can help you identify the symptoms of glaucoma, take appropriate preventative measures, and receive necessary treatment.

The earlier we can detect the disease, the earlier we can help treat it. Make sure you’re scheduling an annual eye exam so that we can be certain to check for any signs you may not have noticed.

Some things change with the coming of the new year, but the consistent and reliable care found at Rx Optical never will. Schedule an exam with us! We are always ready to take care of you and your eyes.

A picture of a young girl taking an eye test.

Patient Love: Looking Back on 2019

Your Rx Optical team works hard to make sure we can give you an exceptional experience every time you walk in our door. We love hearing from you about your appointments–it helps us grow as a team and a provider.

To wrap up 2019, we’re taking a moment to reflect on some of the best stories we’ve heard this year from our offices across our service area. Keep reading to check out some of our best patient reviews. After all, we wouldn’t have such great stories without wonderful patients like you.

First-Time Patient

We had a patient stop by our St. Joseph office not too long ago. It was her first experience with Rx Optical, and afterwards, she was very happy to tell us about how the whole thing went.

In her review, our patient said, “Dr. Diana Haskins was so fun to work with. ‘Fun,’ you say? Yes, fun. She was candid, personable, caring, to the point (I like that about a person), and she also answered all of my questions. She was simply nice and refreshing. And she had great shoes!”

Our patient goes on to say, “I am telling you; this staff is great. I do not see myself going anywhere else, and I’m glad that my insurance guided me to this place.”

We’re so proud of our team for providing an awesome experience. Way to go, St. Joe!

Glasses Malfunction

One of our Cascade patients had an incident that ended with some broken glasses. Our staff was happy to help.

“Over the weekend, I was careless with my glasses and accidentally snapped off one of the nose pads…I figured I would give [Rx Optical] a shot, and I’m very glad that I did,” says our patient. “Even though there were at least two customers in the store in addition to me at the time, I was able to go in and get my issue sorted out in under ten minutes. Both of the pads were replaced, and the glasses are now as good as new!”

Rx Optical is glad to be the go-to for when you have eyewear malfunctions. Luckily, we also offer our Worry-Free Warranty to help cover accidents, so you never have to worry.

Seeing Clearly

Recently, a patient stopped by our Jenison location after their family had some bad experiences with another provider.

He says, “Considering the experience I’ve had with other eyecare facilities, I was wary about trying Rx Optical, but my wife said Dr. Noyes was very good. Now, after my exam and getting my new glasses, I must say that she is great! I don’t know what other providers were doing wrong, but she got my prescription right the first time. Now I can’t see myself going anywhere else!”

The entire Rx Optical team wants to thank you for coming in to see us and sharing your stories and smiles. We wouldn’t have these great comments without you, our patients, who show up to support us.

It’s always a great day when we can help patients see clearly and leave with a smile on their face. When was the last time you stopped in for an eye appointment? Schedule one today! We can’t wait to see you.

Rx Optical Blog Image Best Gifts for People with Glasses 12.12.19

The Best Gifts for People with Glasses

There’s more to the holiday season than gifts, presents, and shiny boxes with bows. Still, it’s fun to share a small token of your appreciation with the people you hold near and dear to your heart, especially when the gift is meaningful.

For us, a good present isn’t about the cost, the glitz or the glam. It’s about how thoughtful and practical it is.

This holiday season, we encourage you to put a little planning behind your gift giving. Luckily for you, if you’re buying for someone who wears glasses, we’ve got you covered.

Keep ‘Em Clean

If you don’t wear glasses, you will never understand the frustration that comes from a dirty lens. Still, we’ll try to put it in perspective.

Think about driving with an extremely dirty windshield. There is nothing more frustrating, right? Well, the same goes for lenses! Having smudges, fingerprints and dirt in front of your eyes is extremely irritating, and it makes it difficult to see clearly.

Keep your friends seeing clearly this holiday with a cleaning cloth, wipe or kit! There are many options, but if you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer, our suggestion is a microfiber cloth. If you’re interested in something bigger, come in and grab one of our PHD-50 Lens Cleaning Kits. They include a 6-ounce cleaner spray bottle, 30 pre-moistened lens cloths, and a microfiber cloth, so your glasses-wearing loved one will be prepared for anything.

Show Off Style

Protecting your glasses from scratches can be hard if you don’t have a protective coating on your lenses. Give the gift of safety with a fun and decorative glasses case.

Not only are protective cases practical, but they’re available in many different colors and patterns. Start by choosing between a hardshell case, a patterned case, or even a fuzzy one. Next, select a pattern. Finding the perfect glasses case is a great way to show how well you know your loved one. They will thank you, and so will their glasses!

Be Prepared

We know life gets messy, accidents happen, and things can break. For your accident-prone loved one, we recommend the gift of repairs! Many eyeglass repair kits include all the essential tools for a minor fix, including screws, a magnifying glass, a microfiber cloth and a carrying case.

While a kit can help with minor damage, you’ll need a professional for big accidents. Include our contact information with your gift so your loved one will be prepared. We offer a Worry-Free Warranty to all of our clients, which is a sure way to save money and time.

Still stuck? Come see us. We have gifts cards that are great for when you’re in a pinch. Plus, we’d love to talk with you about your best gift ideas. Happy shopping!

A family cross country skis in a Michigan forest.

Michigan Winter Family Fun

If you follow us on social, you know we encourage our followers to explore our beautiful state using the hashtag, #sightseeingsaturday. While the warmer summer months make it easier to go outside, we here at Rx Optical absolutely love winter. The snowy season is a great time for family bonding activities.

So, strap on your boots, grab your scarf and pull out your mittens. We’re about to talk about all things winter, family and, as always, fun.

Take a Hike

We say it a lot, and we’ll say it again! Get outside and enjoy the breathtaking views of our amazing state. We love hiking, no matter the season.

There is nothing like a fresh coat of snow on the winding paths of some of our favorite Michigan hikes. If there is too much snow to take a leisurely walk in your winter boots, grab a pair of snowshoes! In the winter, snowshoeing is a great family activity that gives you the opportunity to get outside even on the snowiest of days.

Just remember to dress for the occasion and pack your sunglasses for your outdoor adventure. It’s important to protect your eyes from UV rays, even in the winter!

Hit the Slopes

What better way is there to spend your wintery days than strapped to a pair of skis?

While Michigan might not be the most mountainous state, it does have a great variety of beginner-friendly, downhill skiing options. If downhill isn’t your thing, there are also plenty of cross country paths throughout the state.

Take your family out on an adventure and tackle the slopes. Don’t forget your protective eye wear! Wearing goggles while skiing can do more than benefit your vision; it can also protect your eyes from harsh winds and the sun reflecting off of the snow.

Spread Some Cheer

The holidays are a great time to get involved in your community, since many cities have holiday markets, parades and other events.

We love family and community bonding opportunities, which is why we suggest taking a look at your local community website to find any upcoming winter events near you!

Maybe you live in Grand Rapids and are excited for the holiday market, or perhaps you’re a Detroit native looking forward to skating at Campus Martius. If you’re in Lansing, make sure to check out the Holiday Lights Stadium Style, and if you’re in Kalamazoo, be sure to check out the dazzling zoo lights.

Regardless of the event you find, be a part of your community this winter. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy a little quality time with your family!

Want to hear more from us about our favorite winter activities? Schedule an eye exam with us. We would love to chat with you while we examine your eyes!

Sunglasses sitting next to plants.

Why Sunglasses are Important in the Winter

When winter hits, Michiganders all know the drill: break out the hats, scarf, gloves and sunglasses. Yes, you read that right! While sunglasses are traditionally associated with the warmth of the summer sun, they are actually a year-round accessory.

Don’t believe us? Let’s talk all about the importance of wearing sunglasses in the winter. Trust us. We will have you convinced to break out your shades by the end of this blog.

Harmful UV Rays

You have probably been warned about harmful UV rays before, but we’re going to warn you again!

The three different kinds of UV rays, UVA, UVB and UVC, can cause severe eye damage and pain. Too much of this exposure can even lead to macular degeneration and cataracts.

While UVB rays are the most damaging of the three, polarized sunglasses can make them far less scary. See, polarized sunglasses provide glare protection, as well as UV protection, which can help to ensure your eyes stay healthy. So, note to self: when buying sunglasses, invest in a pair with polarized lenses.

Reflection of Light

Have your ever stepped outside to see a fresh, new layer of snow, only to find yourself blinded by the glare? Snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, which is exactly why sunglasses are so important during the snowy white months.

Most objects in nature absorb some of the natural light that hits their surfaces. This is what gives them their color. Snow, however, is different, since it reflects most of that sunlight. That makes it bright white, but it’s also why you squint when you step outside.

Since we’re surrounded by ice and snow for at least a quarter of the year, it’s important to keep sunglasses at the ready. When you step out for some winter wonderland fun, be sure to bring shades for everyone in your family.

Even if you’re just commuting to work, the reflection off of a snowy road can damage your eyes and impair your vision. Pop on some polarized shades so you can cruise with confidence and keep your eyes safely open.
While we love polarized lenses, it’s worth noting that there are a few occasions when non-polarized lenses are best. If you’re skiing, driving a motorcycle, or driving in particularly icy conditions, it might be best to use sunglasses that don’t have polarized lenses. That way, you can see the reflections off of the ice and proceed with caution. Plus, if you’re an airplane pilot, it’s best to avoid polarized sunglasses, since they can make LCD instruments hard to read.

Not sure if you need polarized or non-polarized sunglasses? Come see us! We have a wide range of sunglasses frames and lens options! Hurry and schedule an appointment with us before the flurries of winter hit.

Cinnamon sticks next to an orange leaf on a blue plate.

Our Team’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving? Maybe it’s the football or the parade, but for us here at Rx Optical, it’s all about enjoying a good meal with friends and family.

We always have Thanksgiving classics like turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, but sometimes, we like to spice it up. Some of our staff has shared their favorite holiday recipes, so we wanted to share them with you, our second family.

No-Knead Dinner Rolls

Simple is always better, right?

This recipe is a staff favorite for exactly that reason. It’s simple, easy and delicious! And because the recipe creates a large sum of dough, it gives the baker the capability to make two different types of rolls.

We love to split the dough in two and create a morning sweet roll and a classic dinner roll. Of course, the flavors are up to you, but we absolutely love these blueberry lemon sweet rolls. Just be sure to share them with your loved ones this coming holiday.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

These candied sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving must, according to our staff, and sweet potatoes are great for your eye health, too. Plus, this is even a no peel recipe! All you need to do is clean and scrub your sweet potatoes or yams (your choice), boil until they’re tender, and the skins will fall right off.

Cut your potatoes into half inch slices and throw them in a skillet with brown sugar, butter, water and salt. Let them all mingle, and tada! You have a yummy and simple dish that even your pickiest relative will love.

Spoon Bread Casserole

If you love corn bread and casserole, look no further. This recipe was made for you.

This spoon bread casserole is a twist on a classic dry bread. It’s filled with moisture and is absolutely delicious.

Made with corn, dry mix, sour cream, eggs and butter, this recipe is a must have on your Thanksgiving menu. And while the recipe says it makes 6-8 servings, in our experience it’s so good, it will be devoured before it’s even on the table. Be sure to double the portions. Your family will thank you!

Pumpkin Roll

What is Thanksgiving without a pumpkin dessert? Well, it would still be Thanksgiving, but we sure do love this pumpkin roll recipe!

This pinwheel roll-up is perfect for any cream cheese lover, and it’ll be sure to leave your sweet tooth happy and satisfied. While the photos of these even and perfectly rolled desserts make it seem easy, trust us, the perfect spiral will come with practice. Don’t be discouraged, though! Even if your roll isn’t Instagram worthy, it will still receive a five-star rating from your taste buds.

We love sharing our traditions with you. It’s just another way for us to show you that we care! While you’re planning your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to remember to include foods that are good for your eye health. Your family will love the nutritious and delicious meal.

Want to talk more about favorite recipes while getting your eyes checked? Come see us. We can’t wait!

Rx Optical Blog Image Best Glasses for Your Face Shape 11.18.19

The Best Glasses for Your Face Shape

Getting the perfect prescription lens is simple; all you need to do is schedule an appointment with us, and we take care of the rest! We can also help you choose the right type of frame, but finding ones that match your style is completely up to you.

We offer a lot of frame options, so we know that sometimes, people can get a little overwhelmed. That’s why we’re putting together some tips to help you find the perfect frame to flatter your face.

Do you know your face shape? There are frames to compliment every type of face. People have different face shapes, which are classified into six different types: oval, round, square, diamond, pear and heart. Keep reading to figure out which frames will make your features shine.

Oval Face Shape

Those with proportionally balanced and slightly curved jawlines fall in the oval face category, which is the most versatile face shape for glasses. Almost all frame shapes will flatter your features. Still, we recommend a rectangular frame, like these frames from bebe, which will help add structure to your curved features.

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Round Face Shape

People with round faces have wide and long faces that lack prominent cheekbones. Our recommendation for a round face shape is an oversized, square or rectangular frame, like these frames from Burberry. By adding dimension with a large frame, you can draw others’ gaze to your eyes and give your face a slimmer appearance.

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Square Face Shape

Those with square faces typically have wide and angular jawlines and foreheads. Because of the sharp features, we recommend that those with this face shape opt for a round-edged or soft-edged frame. Shapes like a cat-eye, brow-line or classic round frames, like these frames from Flexon, will help to add a soft dimension to your angular face.

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Diamond Face Shape

Just like the shape, a diamond face has a narrow forehead and jawline, and it features prominent cheekbones. Our frame recommendation is similar to that for people with square faces, since a round frame will help to add softness and curves to your striking features. Avoid square frames and try an oval or round frame, like these frames from Original Penguin.

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Pear Face Shape

A pear face shape is defined by a broad jawline and chin with a narrower forehead and smaller cheekbones. For those with this face shape, we recommend a browline shaped frame, which will help to even out the face’s proportions. Try these ÖGA frames, which have an open bottom and thin, sleek top.

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Heart Face Shape

Last but not least, there are heart shaped faces! Those who have broader foreheads, prominent cheekbones and narrower chins fall into this category. We recommend either round or rectangular frames, depending on where you fall on the heart-shaped spectrum. A round frame will help add softness for those with a more angular chin, while a rectangular frame can help add shape for those who fall on the rounder end of the spectrum. Regardless, we think these frames from Lafont are a good fit, no matter the shape.

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We can give advice and recommendations, but at the end of the day, we want you to find some frames that fit your style. Schedule an appointment and try on a few pairs. You never know what you might find.

A girl wearing colored contacts with pink chapped lips. She is wearing a hat.

Contact Lenses and Cold Weather

This time of year is perfect for wrapping up in a blanket, sipping hot chocolate and spending time with family. However, with the season comes cold and bitter weather, and these conditions can be extremely harsh on your eyes and contact lenses.

But don’t worry. Like always, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to ensure your eyes stay happy and healthy during even the chilliest days.

Winter and Dry Eyes

Michigan winters are packed with snow, wind and bitter temperatures. We love how beautiful our state gets in cold weather, but these harsh conditions can often irritate eyes.

The winter months are drier than others, which can stimulate a tearing reflex in our eyes. That’s why you might find yourself blinking away tears when the temperatures drop.

When the whipping winds make contact with the eyes’ surface, even if you’re wearing contact lenses, the moisture of your eyes gets stripped. As a result, your eyes try to counteract the dryness by producing more tears.

To help cut down on random crying while still keeping your eyes moisturized, try artificial tears, contact lens specific lubricating drops, a humidifier, or some of these tricks!

Eye Protection

Yes, even in the cold months, it’s important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

You might be surprised to learn that your eyes can suffer from sunburn. You might be even more surprised to learn that the light reflecting off the snow and ice can evoke some very powerful UV rays, even on a cloudy day!

If your eyes do suffer from sunburn, the condition generally clears up after a few days, but during that time, you can’t wear your contacts.

Protect your eyes this year by making sure you wear sunglasses all year round. Not only do sunglasses protect you from UV rays, but they can act as a barrier between your eyes and the wind. That can help reduce dry eyes and irritation from winter breezes.

Contact Care

Despite what you may have heard, we can confidently tell you your contact lenses won’t freeze to your eyes even on the coldest of days.

Although you won’t be in danger of frozen lenses, it is important to keep your contacts moist. You’ll also need lenses that are best suited for your eyes. If you have naturally dry eyes, specialized lenses may be a good option for the cold months. Our team can help you find the right fit to keep your eyes happy all season long.

So what are you waiting for? Make sure to schedule an appointment with us to prepare for the upcoming cold weather. We can help you find properly fitted lenses that will suit all of your winter needs.

a photo of a girl trying on glasses. An Rx Optical doctor watches her.

Transitions: Photochromic Lens Basics

Did you know that Transitions is the name of the brand (which we offer), and not the term for a lens that changes colors? Yup. The lenses that appear clear (or nearly clear) while indoors and automatically darken when exposed to natural light are called photochromic lenses.

Transitions happens to be one of the best-selling brands of photochromic lenses in the United States, which is why many people confuse the name of the brand with the name of the product itself.

Photochromic lenses offer a lot of benefits that you might not know about, so keep reading to find out more.

UV Ray Protection

Photochromic lenses are cool and outrageously convenient. Because the lenses change color when they are exposed to harmful UV rays, your eyes are instantly protected from the sun while you’re wearing them.

See, sunglasses help protect your eyes from UV rays, which is good, because these rays can cause irreversible damage like cataracts or macular degeneration. By wearing lenses that shift into sunglasses, your eyes are better protected from the sun than they would be without sunglasses.

Versatile Options

We know that switching between prescription lenses and sunglasses can get frustrating. That’s why Transitions lenses are a great choice if you’re always on the go. When you have a pair of glasses with photochromic lenses, you get the best of both worlds!

These lenses are also great if you’re constantly misplacing your sunglasses. When your lenses can give you clear vision and UV protection, you only need to worry about keeping track of one pair. If, however, you like keeping fun in the sun separate from your work life, we offer prescription sunglasses, too!

Blue Light Filters

Transitions lenses have more capabilities than you might realize. They can even help to block out blue light from digital devices.

If you’ve never heard of blue light or have no idea where it comes from, that’s no problem! Blue light is emitted by digital screens, and it can interfere with your circadian rhythms. If you don’t wear protection, but you spend a lot of time staring at screens, blue light can even give you eye strain or headaches.

It’s a good thing that most Transitions Lenses now block more light indoors than any other traditional clear lens can! So, if you’re on your devices frequently, Transitions Lenses might be a great solution for you.

We know so many options for eyewear can be confusing. The simple fix is to schedule an appointment with us so we can find the right solution for your eyes and your life style. See you soon!

Two children dressed up, with eyeglasses as part of their costume, for Halloween.

Fun Halloween Costumes with Glasses

We love fall activities, which means we also love Halloween! It’s the holiday made for self-expression and creativity. It’s also the one day of the year where you get candy and the opportunity to put on a fun costume.

For us, the best costume is all in the details, and that includes the perfect set of glasses. So, to embrace both our profession and the spirit of the holiday, we made a list of our favorite Halloween costumes that all rock an iconic pair of frames.

Get Magical

Embrace your inner wizard this Halloween by dressing up as Harry Potter. While you may not be able to cast any spells or charms, it’s easy to at least look like this pop icon!

The Harry Potter costume includes a black robe, a scarlet and gold scarf, a wand, and, of course, thin round glasses. Oh, and don’t forget about the lightning shaped scar!

A pair of thin round glasses similar to those Harry Potter wears.

 

Get Super

Did you know Superman has a day job? Yup! Clark Kent, Superman’s civilian alter ego, is actually a newspaper reporter.

To complete Clark Kent’s look, you’ll need a white oxford shirt, a black tie, dark slacks, a Superman logo shirt and the iconic square framed glasses, like this pair from Dragon.

A pair of square framed glasses similar to the type Clark Kent wore.

 

Get Mysterious

Hop in the Mystery Machine and grab your Scooby snacks for our next pick!

As an integral member of Mystery Inc., Velma Dinkley is always in fashion with chunky black frames, just like this pair from Alain Mikli Paris. To complete the look, all you need is a red skirt, oversized orange sweater, orange knee high socks and red flats.

A pair of chunky black glasses similar . to the type Velma Dinkley wore.

 

Get Hidden

Feel like blending in this Halloween? Dress up like Waldo. Even those with 20-20 vision will have a hard time finding you.

This costume is simple and easy. All you need is a pair of black pants, a horizontally striped red and white shirt, a matching hat, and a round shaped pair of glasses! Who knew a disguise could be that simple?

A pair of round shaped glasses similar to the type Waldo wore.

 

Get Royal

Next, we’re going back to the early 2000s with Amelia Mignonette Grimalidi Thermopolis Renaldo, Princess of Genovia.

Doesn’t Ring a bell? Think pears and The Princess Diaries.

See, being a princess for Halloween would be cool, but being Mia Thermopolis before her princess lessons would be way cooler. To complete the look, you will need a light blue oxford shirt, a blue blazer, a black tie, a blue plaid skirt, a pair of black knee high socks and some slim framed glasses like this pair from Coach.

A pair of slim framed glasses simlar to the kind Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries wore.

 

Halloween is a great time to dress up in styles you might not wear otherwise. Once you try on one of these pairs of glasses, you might find that you they’re your new go-to for your daily eyewear. We can’t wait to see you rock your new look.

Do you have a different costume in mind? Make sure to schedule an appointment with us! We can help pair you with glasses that will help you rock your costume and keep your vision clear for years to come.