Rx Optical Blog Image What is Glaucoma 12.27.18

What is Glaucoma?

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and while many people have heard of glaucoma, most don’t fully understand the seriousness of the condition, or realize that it is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States for those over 60.

Glaucoma is quite common in the United States, so understanding how to detect the condition in its early stages is key for preventing vision loss.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve and that gets worse over time. The condition is often caused by a buildup of pressure in the eye, referred to as intraocular pressure. The optic nerve is vital for clear vision, as it is responsible for transmitting images to the brain, meaning if the damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. If left totally untreated, permanent blindness is possible within a couple years.

Symptoms

Glaucoma does not present any symptoms in the early stages, and the first sign is often a loss of peripheral, or side, vision. This loss in vision, due to increasing damage to the optic nerve, can go unnoticed for some time, which is why glaucoma is often referred to as the “sneak thief of vision.”

While less common, rapid onset glaucoma, caused by a sudden increase in pressure, has more noticeable symptoms, like blurred vision, severe eye pain, headache, rainbow-colored halos around lights, nausea and vomiting. This is an emergency, and if not treated immediately, could result in permanent blindness. 

Who is at Risk?

Anyone can develop glaucoma; however, it is more common in those who:

  • Are over the age of 40
  • Are of African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit or Scandinavian decent
  • Have a family history of glaucoma (if you have an immediate family member who has glaucoma, your risk in developing the condition increases four to nine times)
  • Have diabetes
  • Take certain steroid medications
  • Had recent trauma to the eye or eyes

Glaucoma is detected through comprehensive eye exams, so the importance of regular eye exams cannot be overlooked when it comes to protecting vision.

Living with Glaucoma

While there is no cure for glaucoma, if you have been diagnosed with the condition, there are available treatments to control the disease and prevent further vision loss. Treatments include medicines, in the form of eye drops or pills, laser trabeculoplasty, or conventional surgery. Having ongoing conversations with your eye doctor about treatment, and keeping up with regular comprehensive eye exams, is the best course of action.

With the new year comes new resolutions. This year, be sure to set aside time for annual comprehensive eye exams for you and your family members. Eye exams can detect a variety of different diseases in their early stages, including glaucoma.

At Rx Optical, we are dedicated to helping you enjoy life and see clearly. Stop in, give us a call, or schedule your appointment online. We can’t wait to see you!

Rx Optical Blog Image Dry Eyes in Winter 11.28.18

5 Ways to Prevent Dry Eyes in the Winter

Winter is coming! In addition to Michigan winters being rough on our cars and our roads, the cold air outside combined with dry indoor heat can be a perfect recipe for dry eyes and discomfort. Thanks to the climate here in the northern Midwest, one of the most common patient complaints during the winter months is dry eyes.

Harsh winter weather can reduce the moisture in your eyes, causing irritation. This eye irritation can create a burning or itching sensation, and most of the time, people will try to relieve this by rubbing their eyes, which will actually make things worse.

Here are five easy tips you can incorporate into your winter routine to help alleviate dry eyes: 

Drink Water

Drinking plenty of water not only helps keep your body hydrated and healthy, but it also helps maintain moisture levels in your eyes. Did you know that the average adult should drink about half a gallon of water each day? If you’re experiencing dry eyes, be sure to examine your water intake, as you may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking.

Keep Your Distance from Heat

While the warmth from a fireplace or a vent is nice and cozy during the colder months, the heat blowing onto your face will inevitably dry out your eyes. If you want to keep your eyes moisturized, don’t sit directly in front of the fireplace, a space heater, or a heat vent.

Give Your Contacts a Break

Do you wear contacts every single day? Are you remembering to give your eyes a break from contacts once in a while? Contacts create a barrier that prevent oxygen from getting to your eyes, which can eventually dry out your eyes.

If you’re suffering from dry eyes, take out your contacts for a few days to alleviate irritation and stick with your glasses. You should also consider talking to your optometrist about switching to contacts that are better suited for those with dry eye symptoms.

Wear Sunglasses

The sun doesn’t set with summer, so you should always remember to wear sunglasses in the winter. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from damaging UV rays and will help block out any harsh winds that could dry out your eyes.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

One of the worst things that you can do to your irritated and dry eyes is rub them. We know it is tempting, and can feel like an easy solution, but it will only worsen the irritation and can even lead to infections if your hands aren’t clean.

 

At Rx Optical, we want to help you have fun and enjoy the winter months in Michigan. If your dry eyes are keeping you from your favorite winter activities, stop in for a comprehensive eye exam so that you can get back in the snow without dry or irritated eyes.

Rx Optical Blog Image Protecting Your Vision as You Age 11.26.18

5 Tips for Protecting Your Vision as You Age

As you age, you may notice your eyesight getting weaker.

You avoid dimly lit restaurants and the font is as large as it can be on your phone. That’s because your eyes start to struggle with seeing close distances in your mid-40s, especially when you’re on your phone or reading a book or menu.

This is a normal change in the eye’s ability to focus, and is called presbyopia. Presbyopia is among the most common eye problems in adults aged 41-60.

So, what should you do to keep your eyes and vision protected as you age? Here are 5 tips from our expert team:

Wear Sunglasses

While we all know that looking directly at the sun isn’t safe, being outside without sunglasses is also harmful. UV rays take no days off, so always bring sunglasses with you. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV rays, even on cloudy or snowy days.

At Rx, we offer prescription sunglasses so that you never have to be without clear vision while protecting your eyes from damaging sunlight.

Wear Prescription Glasses

Are you noticing your vision is strained when reading up close or using your phone? Updating your prescription in your glasses can help alleviate the strain in your vision.

If you don’t wear prescription glasses already, scheduling an appointment with Rx is a great first step in determining if you need to wear glasses.

Boost Your Diet

Simply changing a few areas of your diet can help to keep your vision sharp. Including foods like eggs, legumes, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and fish in your diet can help to protect your eyes and vision. This is because they contain healthy elements like zinc, omega-3, and vitamins C and A.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog on the “Top 5 Foods to Boost Eye Health”.

Stay Active

An active lifestyle is good for the entire body, and that includes your eyes. Exercising regularly can help to reduce your risk of developing problems that can end up leading to eye disease.

Want to protect your eyes as you exercise? Ask your Rx optician about prescription sports frames.

Comprehensive Eye Exam

Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam is the best thing you can do to identify what is causing your eyes to strain. Our experienced doctors will be able to develop a vision plan for you and get your vision set up for success.

 

At Rx, we employ an expert team of doctors who are committed to helping protect your eye health. Schedule an exam with us today and take the first step in protecting your eyes from aging.

Rx Optical Blog Image Diabetes and Eye Health 11.09.18

Diabetes and Your Eye Health

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and according to the CDC, there are more than 100 million U.S. adults living with diabetes or prediabetes. The serious disease, which affects the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, can cause health issues such as heart disease, kidney failure, amputations, and vision loss.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for developing glaucoma and cataracts, but the most common and threatening vision problem facing diabetics is diabetic retinopathy.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy, which is a leading cause of blindness in American adults, is caused by damage or changes in the blood vessels of the retina due to high blood sugar levels. In certain cases, retinal blood vessels can swell and leak fluid, while others may experience abnormal and new blood vessels growing on the surface of the retina. These changes in the eye can result in vision loss or blindness.

According to the National Eye Institute, nearly 7.7 million people age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, and this number is projected to increase to more than 11 million by 2030.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy can be very difficult to detect yourself, as there are no symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, you may begin to notice the following symptoms:

  • Increasing number of floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Blank or dark areas in your vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Colors appearing faded or washed out

The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy typically affect both eyes.

Prevention & Treatment

While fully preventing diabetic retinopathy is difficult, you can greatly reduce your risks by controlling your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and experience any of the above symptoms, you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam as soon as possible. Catching and treating the disease in its early stages, before it causes vision loss or blindness, is key for protecting your eye health.

It is crucial that all people with diabetes get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every year. Dilated exams allow for eye doctors to see more of the inside of your eyes in order to check for signs of the disease.

Our expert team of doctors at Rx Optical is committed to helping protect your eye health. Schedule an exam with us today and take the first step in ensuring that your vision stays clearer, longer.

Rx Optical Blog Image Top 5 Foods to Boost Eye Health 10.29.18

5 Top Foods to Boost Eye Health

Your diet has a large impact on your overall health, including your vision. In addition to drinking enough water, maintaining a balanced diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, and low in sugar and saturated fats, is one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your eyes.

Most people have heard that carrots and other orange-colored fruits and vegetables promote eye health, but you should also consider adding these five foods to your regular diet in order to keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp:

Fish

Adding fish to your diet will help protect and improve your vision. Your retinas need two types of omega-3 fatty acids in order to work correctly: DHA and EPA. Both of which can be found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and trout. Additionally, omega-3s will help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye and glaucoma.

Don’t like seafood? Try taking a fish oil supplements to get a boost of omega-3s in your system.

Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale and collards, are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin and are a great source of vitamin C and beta carotene. These antioxidants will act like a natural sunscreen for your eyes and protect from harmful UV rays.

If you aren’t a fan of leafy greens, try peas or avocado.

Eggs

Egg yolks are another prime source for lutein and zeaxanthin, which will reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also a great source of eye-friendly vitamins E and C, and zinc. Opting for an egg breakfast a couple times a week will help boost your eye health.\

Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C is a key defender against cataracts and macular degeneration. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and berries. If you’re not into fruits and are looking for a daily dose of vitamin C, try a simple vitamin C supplement that you can find at most grocery or drug stores.

Legumes

Kidney beans, black beans, and lentils are good sources of bioflavonoids and zinc. These two can help protect the retina and lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Zinc also helps to protect the eyes from damage from light.

Remember, including Vitamin C, A, 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.

Rx Optical Blog Halloween Eye Safety 10.19.18

Get Spooky: Halloween Costumes and Eye Safety

Fun costumes are one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween. Depending on the costume, sometimes it takes a bit of makeup and even crazy eyewear in order to fully pull off the look you’re going for. When you’re swept up in the excitement of dressing up, it is easy to forget about eye safety and the potential risks your costume may be creating.

Our treat to you this Halloween season is informing you of certain costume accessories that could cause you harm and potentially ruin your Halloween celebrations.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses

October is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month, and, coincidently, a popular trend for enhancing Halloween costumes is cosmetic contact lenses. Cosmetic lenses can make quite a fashion statement, but when bought without a prescription at boutiques, tattoo parlors, and other nonprofessional retailers, they pose serious health risks.

All contact lenses, including prescription or cosmetic, are classified as medical devices and it is illegal for anyone to sell contact lenses without a prescription, because of the medical and health risks that this creates. Non-prescription costume contacts can cut, scratch, and infect your eye if they are not properly fitted. From this mis-sizing, corneal abrasions and bacterial infections are the most common injuries that occur. Unfortunately, treatment for these injuries can require surgery and sometimes the treatment does not work.

Why are costume lenses unsafe? The lenses are developed in a way that does not allow enough oxygen get through to the eye due to the paints and pigments used to create the colors in the cosmetic lens. There are about 13,000 emergency room cases each year due to the use of non-prescription cosmetic lenses.

How do you get safe, colored contact lenses? The only way to safely wear contact lenses is with a prescription. Our Optometrists would be happy to determine your prescription and contact fit at an eye exam. If cosmetic lenses will complete your Halloween costume, be sure to go the safe route and schedule an eye exam.

Costume Makeup, Paint, and Glitter

Makeup, paint, and glitter are quite common when it comes to Halloween costume essentials, but these also all pose a risk. It is important that when using costume makeup, paint, or glitter, you test a small area before placing the makeup on the entire face. It is especially important with costume makeup to keep it away from the eyes and eye area so that they eyes are protected from any irritation or stinging and burning.

After the costume comes off, don’t forget to take off your makeup, too. No matter how tired you are, the irritation from costume makeup can cause infection if left on for too long, so don’t go to sleep without washing your face. Be sure to look for swelling, rashes, and irritation on the face or around the eyes the day after the makeup is applied.

Masks and Accessories

Watch out for any costume items that could penetrate or scratch the eye. Think plastic masks that could break into the eye or tripping while carrying a prop sword. Any accessory or prop you use should be soft, flexible, and short, in order to avoid injury to the eye.

Signs of Infection

After your celebrations, watch out for these signs of infection:

  • Unexplained eye discomfort or pain
  • Redness of the eye and/or discharge
  • Watering eyes
  • Vision changes

Want to learn more about safe Halloween costume practices or interested in setting up an eye exam to get a prescription for colored contact lenses? Give our office a call or schedule your appointment online. One of our doctors would be more than happy to assist in your fun and safe Halloween!

rx optical blog image sunglasses in the winter 121217 1

Wear Your Sunglasses – Even in the Winter

If there is one thing us Michiganders know, it is how to do winter. When we step out in the winter, we don’t leave home without multiple layers, a scarf, a hat, and waterproof, insulated boots.

But, what many of us are missing is a crucial part of our winter wardrobe; sunglasses. Frigid temps and feisty flurries do not mean your eyes are protected from the sun. If you’re heading out the door and wondering, “Should I grab these super stylish, fantastic sunglasses I got from Rx Optical?” your answer should always be yes. Here are a few reasons why.

More Exposure

In the winter, the sun actually sits lower in the sky and at a different angle than it does in the summer. This means your eyes might be getting more exposure to harsh rays. You’re also getting more exposure the more the snow falls. Snow can reflect up to 85 percent of the sun’s UV Rays which can lead to a troubling condition called, “snow blindness.” This condition primarily affects skiers and those who participate in winter sports but everyone is susceptible without protection and it can damage your cornea for up to a week. Look out skiers, the risk gets higher for every 1,000 feet you go above sea level.

Eye Damage

Sun Blindness isn’t the only condition caused by winter rays. Research has shown that the sun’s UV Rays can contribute to various ailments such as cataracts and macular degeneration. UV light on your eyelids can also lead to skin cancer.

Early Aging

Nobody wants to look older than they are, but if you’re not protecting your eyes, you might be susceptible to premature aging. UV rays can cause wrinkles, fine lines, scaly red patches, and tough, leathery brown spots. The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate and is more prone to damage from the sun than other areas.

Protect Your Eyes

So, add one more item to your winter attire and grab a pair of sunglasses from any Rx Optical location. Our Sun Solutions Program allows our patients to own the very best (and coolest if you care) prescription and non-prescription sunglasses at a great value. Be sure to contact your local Rx Optical for discounts on lens and frame options.

Your sunglasses should block 100% of harmful UV rays and be large enough to completely protect the skin around your eyes.

Want to check out our selection? Stop on in to any location or give us a call with any questions you might have (800) RX-CARES.

Rx Optical Blog Image Womens Eye Health 09.27.18

Important Factors in Women’s Eye Health

Studies have shown that women are more likely than men to have eye-related problems. With two-thirds of blindness and other visual impairments worldwide occurring in women, it is important that women understand their eye health risk factors and schedule routine comprehensive exams.

Because women tend to live longer than men, and have hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives that can negatively impact their eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are more common in women.

It is especially important to monitor eye health as you age, as vision problems become more prominent in aging adults.

Other factors that may cause women to have more eye problems include:

 

Birth Control

Certain birth control and hormone replacement treatments can cause blood clots or strokes, which can lead to vision problems. A woman’s risk for cataracts and dry eye may also increase while taking birth control.

 

Pregnancy

A woman’s body goes through many changes while she is pregnant, including vision changes. Common eye health problems when pregnant include dry eyes, light sensitivity, and eye puffiness, and in some cases, eye prescription changes. Those who suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy may experience blurry vision, or even a retinal detachment.

 

Menopause

Dry eyes and uveitis (eye inflammation) are very common for women who are undergoing menopause.

 

Breast Cancer

Certain drugs that are taken to treat and prevent breast cancer can increase a woman’s risk for cataracts, eye bleeds, itchy eyes, and light sensitivity.

 

Preventing Future Vision Issues

While certain eye health problems are unavoidable, there are things that can be done in order to prevent future vision issues:

  • Make sure to receive an annual eye exam. Talk with your doctor about certain risk factors that may apply to you and make a plan.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Make sure you are drinking enough water and avoid high amounts of caffeine. Vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for eye health.
  • Put down the cigarettes. Smoking drastically increases chances of eye disease.
  • If you are pregnant, discuss any vision changes that you notice with your eye doctor and make regular appointments.

It’s time to take steps to care for and protect your eyes. Make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable eye doctors today. Feel free to call or stop in at one of our 54 locations, we can’t wait to see you!

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RX OPTICAL CELEBRATES WORLD SIGHT DAY

Every year, to support eye health around the world, all of us at Rx Optical participate in World Sight Day.

More than 600 million people around the world are blind or vision impaired because they don’t have access to the eye examination and glasses they need. The organization Optometry Giving Sight funds projects that gave sight and hope to more than 1 million children in 2017 alone. They are passionate about the work they do, and we are excited to support that work. The money raised on World Sight Day supports programs that train local eye care professionals, establish vision centers, and deliver eye care and low-cost glasses.

Leading up to World Sight Day, Rx Optical gathers donations by putting together fun baskets to auction off. We create baskets with themes such as golf, family game night, toolkits, and more. Our employees buy raffle tickets to win those baskets, and the money from the raffle goes toward the World Sight mission. We also purchase World Sight t-shirts and wear them in the office.

We are passionate about promoting good vision health around the world and are especially excited that this year’s campaign will support children’s vision and will help give kids who have struggled to see properly their first pair of glasses.

It’s sad to think that there are millions of children around the world struggling to learn and frustrated with their lives simply because they can’t see and can’t afford proper eye care. The World Sight Day Challenge makes it simple and fun to help these kids. And, even our patients can get involved. You can make a donation to support the World Sight Day mission here. By becoming a donor, you will be helping to transform lives through the gift of vision.

You can learn more about the Optometry Giving Sight organization on their website, and you can see how we are celebrating sight by stopping in to any of our locations!

Rx Optical Blog Social Image Common Eye Care Problems 09.07.18

Vision Problems in Aging Adults

Many parts of your body change as you grow older, and your eyes are no exception. Older adults often have to be aware of, and deal with, a variety of different eye problems that may not be an issue for most children or young adults.

At Rx Optical, we are devoted to ensuring that our patients, of all ages, receive the best vision care. If you are noticing changes in your vision, or think you may have symptoms of an eye disease that needs to be addressed, schedule an eye exam with us right away.

According to a recent survey, half of people in the U.S. are neglecting their eyes, despite 84% of people rating vision as their most important sense. Skipping out on annual eye exams can leave you at risk for serious health issues.

Widespread issue
More than 10 million Americans have undiagnosed eye problems and conditions that can affect their vision and eye health. In addition to these conditions, over 180 million Americans have vision impairment: near-and far-sightedness, or in some cases, both.

Being aware of eye health changes that come with age will be key in ensuring that your vision stays clearer, longer.

Common eye diseases in older adults
Many common eye diseases have no early symptoms and can only be detected through an eye examination. Early detection and treatment is key when it comes to saving your sight. Common causes of vision loss in older adults include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

Everyone over the age of 50 should strongly consider routine comprehensive dilated eye exams, as this will help catch diseases in their early stages.

Warning signs
If you notice you are seeing double, have difficulty reading or working with objects up close, or the way you see colors has changed, it is important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. If you aren’t experiencing any warning signs, an eye doctor can still assess your eye health and let you know your specific risk factors.

To further assist our patients in understanding potential vision problems, our blog page has resources and information on topics such as trouble with night driving, the effect diabetes can have on your eyes, what an astigmatism is, the dangers of technology’s blue lights to your eyes, and glaucoma.

Next steps in your care
While an eye exam is an important first step in eye health, it is important to think about, and take care of, your eyes on a daily basis. According to The Vision Council, eating healthy foods, ending tobacco use, limiting screen time, and regular exercise are all great steps to achieving healthy eyes.

Our doctors are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to understanding the intricate relationship between eye health and your overall wellbeing. Be proactive about your health and schedule an eye appointment today. Young or old, your vision is a valuable and important part of your everyday life. Don’t wait – schedule an exam online today at one of our 54 locations.

Rx Optical Blog Social Image 5 Signs of Eye Injury or Damage 08.29.18

The Signs of Eye Injury or Damage

Our eyes are one of the coolest parts of the body; the design of our eyes, eyelids, and eyelashes are so complex and vital to our health. Did you know, with the blink of an eyelid, a layer of mu-cus, oil, and tears cover the corner to clean out dirt, dust, and other irritants? Your tears stop the spread of infections, too!

Even though they are amazing, eyelids cannot protect our eyes from everything. Eye injuries, or eye damage, occurs from time to time. It’s important that you can recognize when something is not right (and then give us a call).

Signs of Injury or Damage
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has put together an extensive list of injuries and damage that can occur in the eye; here are the most common:

  • One eye is not moving as well as the other
  • One eye is sticking out compared to the other
  • A cut or torn eyelid
  • Pupil is an usual size or shape
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • A foreign object is in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swelling

Common Eye Injuries
One of the most common eye injuries is a scratched eye, also known as a corneal abrasion. This is usually caused by a foreign object in the eye like dust or sand. An important identifier in this injury is eye redness and sensitivity to light.

Another common injury can occur when a blow is taken to the eye, causing the eye to swell and puff. We see this injury when sports seasons pick up, usually baseball season. If you have a black eye, the best treatment is ice and a call to Rx Optical. We need to make sure there is no internal damage.

Eye bleeding, or subconjunctival hemorrhages, is an eye injury that looks much worse than the injury itself. This injury can happen when blood leaks from one or more blood vessels in the white of the eye. This can occur even in minor injuries to the eye.

The Don’ts of Eye Injuries

  • DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye
  • DO NOT try to remove an object stuck in the eye
  • DO NOT apply any medication to the eye without a doctor consultation
  • DO NOT rinse with water (for cut or punctured eyes only)

The Do’s of Eye Injuries

  • DO rinse with water (for chemical burns or small debris in the eye)
  • DO call your eye doctor as soon as possible to receive the care your eyes need

We are here for your whole eye care, not just eye exams and prescriptions. Rx Optical can per-form the proper exams to recognize the cause of your injury and provide you with a plan to treat the injury. Noticing anything strange about your eyes? Come and see us, we can help you care for your eye injury.

At Rx Optical we understand that your child’s vision is vital to their success in life.

How to Take Care of Your Child’s Eyes

At Rx Optical, we understand that your child’s vision is vital to their success in life, and we want to help you in caring for your child’s eyes. While a comprehensive eye exam is a great first step to overall eye health, there are important ways to take care of your child’s eyes between their annual exams.

SYMPTOMS
There are certain habits and behaviors to be on the lookout for that could indicate something is not right with your child’s vision. The Vision Council shares these warning signs: squinting, closing, or covering an eye, holding objects close to their face, tilting of the head, rubbing eyes, and redness or tearing.

Other factors that are important to note include if your family has a history of eye issues, or if your child was born premature, be sure to pay close attention to any eye health warning signs.

AT HOME
Your child may not be able to tell you if they are experiencing eye problems if they have never known anything else. Find ways to ask if they are seeing multiples of the same image or if images are blurry. When reading a book with pictures together, try, “Do you see one or two bears on this page?”. Your child could be living with astigmatism or double-vision and not realize it. Pay attention to their eyes when they are talking to you in order to detect any lazy eye or eye crossing behaviors.

BACK TO SCHOOL
As your child heads back to school this fall, be sure to watch their behavior when they are doing school work at home. If your child is avoiding reading or visual work, attempting to do reading work, but has low levels of comprehension, or appears to be experiencing discomfort, fatigue, or a short attention span, these issues may be caused by vision problems, according to the American Optometric Association.

Address these problems with your child, as their vision is their key to success at school. While your child may not like the idea of having to wear glasses or contacts, talk to them about the importance of being able to see, and how better vision will help them succeed in the classroom.

To help you prepare for your child’s return to school, all of our Rx Optical offices are hosting a Back-To-School Special, through September 15, where complete eye examinations for children between the ages of 4 and 18 will be only $19. The Back-To-School special will also offer $59 off all kids’ frames.

THE EYE EXAM
If you have noticed any of the vision warning signs or symptoms in your child, it is smart to bring them in for a comprehensive eye exam. Our knowledgeable doctors are here to make the exam a positive experience for both you and your child.

Taking care of your child’s eyes is an important part of their development. Our attentive doctors are here to provide the best care for your child and help correct any vision problems. Come visit us at one of our 54 locations.

Posted by news@834design.com at 12:00 AM

A cartoon sun surrounds font that reads, "National Sunglasses Day: June 27, The Vision Council."

National Sunglasses Day (UV Protection)

We all know that the sun’s rays are harmful, but it is so important to remember that not only can they harm your skin, they can also damage your eyes if they aren’t properly protected. The best way to protect your eyes from the sun is wearing sunglasses, and this year we’re protecting our eyes and celebrating eye health at the same time on National Sunglasses Day.

National Sunglasses Day is held on Wednesday, June 27 to celebrate the importance of wearing shades to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh UV rays. To get involved and join the celebration, use the hashtag #NationalSunglassesDay and tag Rx Optical (@RxOptical on Facebook and @RxOpticalLabs on Twitter and Instagram) with your favorite pair of sunglasses. We love seeing you protect your eyes!

If you ever wondered what exactly makes UV rays harmful, here are some quick insights into why it is key to protect your eyes:

  • UV rays are broken into three different types: UVA, UVB and UVC
  • Both UVA and UVB rays reach the Earth and are dangerous to our eyes, but UVB light is the most dangerous
  • The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – but you still need protection throughout the whole day
  • Rays pass through clouds, meaning you need to stay protected even when there’s an overcast
  • Snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light – so the rays are still damaging in the winter
  • UV light may be increased by an increase in humidity – making it easier to get UV damage on the coasts or in any humid environment

Stay protected and:

  • Wear sunglasses year-round and look for 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB ray protection
  • Never look directly at the sun as it can harm your vision permanently
  • Wear hats to help protect your eyes from the sun hitting your face throughout the day

At Rx Optical, we love sunglasses! Not only do they protect your eyes from harmful rays, but they also look stylish and fun. With hundreds of frames to choose from, we have a pair for every personality. To browse our selection of prescription sunglasses, call us today to set up an appointment at (800) RX-CARES!

 

A cartoon sun surrounds font that reads, "National Sunglasses Day: June 27, The Vision Council."

National Sunglasses Day 2018

Put your shades on for National Sunglasses Day!

Summer in Michigan is a much-anticipated time for Michiganders as we make plans to head to the beach, camp, hike, swim, boat and recover from a long winter. We get so excited in fact, that sunscreen and protecting our eyes isn’t much of a priority. This summer, please keep in mind the strength of the sun and the effect UV rays have on our eyes.

We won’t bore you with the different types of ultraviolet rays (UVA, UVB and UVC), but we do want to encourage you to participate in National Sunglasses Day with us on June 27th. Brought to you by The Vision Council, National Sunglasses Day – is a commemorative date celebrating the importance of wearing ultraviolet (UV)-protective sunwear and eyewear.

Leading up to and on June 27, post a #SunglassSelfie of yourself in your sunglasses to the social media channel of your choice using #NationalSunglassesDay and tag Rx Optical. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook! We want to showcase YOU on our social channels.

If you don’t have a great pair of sunglasses, then visit your local Rx Optical and check out our extensive selection. Our most recent blog details the latest and greatest styles for 2017.

Even when you’re not observing National Sunglasses Day, we still want you to practice sun-safe behavior! Wear your sunglasses all year long, UV rays don’t just exist in the summer.

Don’t forget to post a pic of yourself or a group of friends – we want to feature you on our social channels.

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YOUR EYES AND SLEEP DEPRIVATION

While juggling jobs, family life and extracurricular activities, it sometimes feels impossible to get enough sleep each night. However, sleep deprivation can impact many parts of your health, including your eyes. If you find yourself with eye dryness, irritation or spasms, you may be experiencing the effects of sleep deprivation.

Your eyes recover and prepare for the next day while you sleep, so make sure you are getting enough rest. Sleep deprivation side effects can be harmful to your eyes in many ways.

Side effects

While it is easy to assume that the only side effects on your eyes from lack of sleep are cosmetic issues, there are some more serious problems to look out for.

Sleep deprivation may affect your appearance in a few ways. Puffy eyes or dark circles under your eyes are only one way to notice that your eyes need more rest. This happens because the lack of sleep causes your blood vessels to expand and look more reddish-blue. Sleep deprivation is not the only cause for dark circles, many other things contribute to the issue, but eliminating sleep deprivation can impact the overall appearance of your under-eye circles. Eye spasms are another side effect associated with lack of sleep. While eye spasms are not painful, they can cause irritation and disruption throughout the day.

Dry, itchy and bloodshot eyes can also be a side effect of sleep deprivation and can cause pain and irritation. Some of this occurs because your eyes are not getting the lubrication that they need.During the night, your eyes should produce new tears and cleanse themselves. If your eyes are irritated and itchy, you may be likely to rub them, leaving you more vulnerable to eye infections.

Extreme sleep deprivation is also correlated with symptoms of eye degeneration and can attribute to other serious eye conditions.

Combating lack of sleep

Instead of reaching for a pair of giant sunglasses to cover up your under-eye circles, try to combat your sleep deprivation in a healthier way: getting more sleep at night. Concealer, sunglasses and eye drops may help for the time being, but they don’t provide a lasting result for your overall health.

Our recommendations* for getting more sleep each night include:

Create a sleep schedule that you can follow. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day to create a schedule that your body is used to.
Evaluate the atmosphere in your bedroom. It is suggested to keep your room dark, cool and quiet, with light-blocking curtains and a white noise machine or fan.
Exercise daily to relieve stress and create a healthier lifestyle.
Adapt a routine that helps you relax every night before bed. This could include, reading, taking a bath and even listening to music.

Our team at Rx Optical cares about the health of your eyes and ensuring that your vision is the best it can be. If you’re experiencing eye irritation, redness or swelling, promptly make an appointment with your eye doctor. We will be able to evaluate the issue and assist with treatment. If you experience any examples of sleep deprivation side effects, schedule an appointment ASAP: (800) RX CARES.

* Sleeping tips provided by the National Sleep Foundation.

Posted by news@834design.com at 1:27 PM

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UNDERSTANDING POLARIZED LENSES

It’s no surprise that eye doctors everywhere recommend that we wear sunglasses year-round – even when it is overcast – to protect our eyes against the sun’s harmful rays. Luckily, we carry a range of styles that make it easy and stylish to rock sunglasses every day.

When picking your next perfect pair, you may want to consider ordering polarized lenses. If you aren’t sure if this option is right for you, here is a quick breakdown of what polarized lenses are and if you might need them.

WHAT ARE POLARIZED LENSES?
Usually, light scatters because it bounces unevenly off of uneven surfaces. If a surface is smooth, like calm water or a piece of flat sheet metal, the light doesn’t scatter and can reflect at just one angle. If that angle hits your eyes, you will experience a really harsh glare, which is terrible for your eyes.

Polarized lenses are coated with a special film that reduces glare caused by smooth surfaces. The light that enters your eye after passing through a polarized lens has been filtered, allowing you to take in your view more comfortably, more clearly, and with protection. Put simply, polarized lenses take the glare off of other surfaces (i.e. water, car hoods, wet roads, etc.).

WHO ARE POLARIZED LENSES FOR?
Polarized lenses are very popular among people who spend a lot of time outside: bikers, joggers, golfers, boaters, and more, appreciate the reduced glare that can be associated with their hobbies. Imagine the glare that is created by a calm lake when you are trying to catch fish!

If your day-to-day work or other activities put you in consistent contact with glare, then polarized sunglasses are a great option for you.

ARE THERE ANY NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS I SHOULD BE AWARE OF?
There are some instances when polarized lenses aren’t the right fit. You might have difficulty seeing images on LCD screens, cell phones and even some watches.

Polarized lenses might not be the right choice for snow sports because it will reduce your ability to see icy patches; however, if that is not a concern, they will reduce the glare on snow that some find bothersome. For the same reasons that most of us should wear polarized lenses, pilots should not. Polarized lenses will reduce a pilot’s ability to read instruments in the cockpit and can also reduce their ability to see through the air crafts windscreen. Also, a pilot will not need to worry about glare on other surfaces unless they are seeing another aircraft, which would be important for them to see.

Still not sure if polarized lenses are right for you? Contact us to setup an appointment with our expert team to discuss if anew pair of sunglasses should be in your future.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SPORTS SAFETY GLASSES | RX OPTICAL

April is Sports Eye Safety Month, so we are working to spread awareness about the importance of wearing proper eye protection when playing sports. Our previous blog touched on the staggering statistics of those not properly protecting their eyes during games, the most common types of sports-related eye injuries, and why it is especially important for children under 15 to be protecting their eyes. Once you make the smart decision to purchase sports safety glasses, there are a few things to keep in mind:

FITTING GLASSES WITH YOUR PRESCRIPTION
If you already wear prescription glasses, the team at Rx Optical can fit your sport frames with the correct lenses. Wearing regular glasses while playing sports does not provide you with proper protection and can potentially lead to further injury.

COMFORTABLE FIT
It is important that you feel comfortable when wearing your sports safety frames, as it should become a habit to wear them often. It may feel strange at first when you put them on, but you will slowly get used to the frames and it should not affect your game performance. Make sure to adjust the straps on the frames to ensure they are not too tight or too loose. Being slightly uncomfortable at first is no doubt better than a trip to the emergency room for an eye injury.

ASTM F803 APPROVED / TESTED FOR SPORT USE
When looking for frames, make sure that they are labeled as ASTM F803 approved. This means the eyewear has been approved to adequately provide the highest levels of protection while playing sports. The sports safety glasses packaging should also say that the frames have been tested for sports use.

ALWAYS USE LENSES
Some sports safety frames come without lenses, but in order to have the highest level of protection, it is important to use only “lensed” frames. Frames without lenses may stop a larger ball or piece of equipment from hitting the eyeball, but you are then still vulnerable to penetrating injuries from fingers, debris or smaller equipment. If you are playing outdoor sports, also check that the lenses provide UV protection.

POLYCARBONATE LENSES

Sports safety lenses should be made from polycarbonate materials, as this provides the highest level of impact protection. This material can withstand a ball or other projectiles traveling at 90-miles per hour. Polycarbonate lenses will not reduce vision.

RIGHT FRAMES FOR YOUR SPORT
In order to find the recommended frames for a variety of different sports, talk with the team at Rx Optical, or refer to this helpful chart (page 5) provided by The Vision Council and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

HOW RX CAN HELP
Rx Optical carries an extensive line of sports safety glasses, including options from sports safety frame leaders HILCO and WileyX. Our collection offers sports safety glasses that are made with high-impact polycarbonate lenses, which are scratch resistant and provide 100% UV protection.

Our team at Rx Optical can help you find the right fit and ensure that you are fully protected when playing your favorite sport. Stop into your nearest Rx Optical office soon to browse our collection of sports safety frames. It’s time to make wearing sports safety glasses a habit.

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HOW IS THE DIGITAL WORLD IMPACTING OUR EYES?

According to a Nielsen Company audience report, adults in the United States spend on average a staggering 10 hours and 39 minutes each day consuming media (including tablets, smartphones, personal computers, multimedia devices, video games, etc.). This is a one-hour increase when compared to 2015 and based on those statistics, one can predict what 2017 is going to look like.

While our entertainment factor is on the rise, how does continued immersion in the digital world affect our vision? Does it really matter? While researchers in the past have said no, more recently, all signs point to yes.

COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME
Originally reserved for office employees who spend most of their time in front of a computer, computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eyestrain, now affects millions regardless of age or occupation. When the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the person to comfortably perform them, CVS can occur. People who spend two or more continuous hours at the computer or device screen every day are at the highest risk of experiencing the condition – so basically everyone.

Symptoms include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headache
  • Difficulty Focusing
  • Itchy, burning eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Light sensitivity

Constant exposure to screens can cause CVS for several reasons. For one, when staring at a screen you tend to blink less. Under normal conditions, a person will blink 12-15 times per minute, but when you are glued to a screen and your brain is distracted, your blinks per minute decrease to 7 or 8. Less blinking leads to a decrease in lubrication and dry, sore eyes. Staring straight ahead at a computer screen versus looking down at a document also increases the drying of eyes – when you look down more of your eye is naturally covered.

Eyes tend to work harder when viewing text on a screen instead of a paper document as well. Letters on a computer or device are generally not as precise or sharply defined. The color contrast between the letters and background is reduced and any screen glare or reflection can also make viewing difficult, causing an increase in eye fatigue. Any existing, uncorrected vision issues will exacerbate the occurrence of CVS and severity of the condition. In addition, when glasses aren’t designed for extended computer use, people may tilt their heads at odd angles for ease of viewing, resulting in chronic neck, shoulder, or back pain.

RETINA DAMAGE
Direct exposure to the blue light emitted by LED devices can damage retinas, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. LED screens are found in most electronic devices and retinal damage that affects your central vision system can occur from staring at the light for long periods of time, especially in the dark (something that many American do before bed).

Retinas are the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye, and a new report out claims that internationally, our population is facing a global epidemic of sight loss related to screen time and retinal deterioration. As people age, retinas become increasingly sensitive to damage, but this report warns that it’s not adults that should be mindful of sight loss, but the millions of children exposed to digital screens at a young age. The Guardian reports that there are approximately 900 million children that use devices worldwide without protective screens or glasses.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Making small changes to your daily routine combined with regularly scheduled eye care can help alleviate many of the negative effects brought on by added screen use.

FOLLOW THE 20-20-20 RULE
Take a 20-second break to view something at least 20 feet away every 20 minutes. This will help prevent eyestrain and give your eye a chance to refocus. Beyond that, take a 15-minute break away from a screen after two hours of continuous screen to give your whole body a much-needed break.

POSITION YOUR SCREEN AND DOCUMENTS CORRECTLY
Any screen should be positioned 15 to 20 degrees below eye level as measured from the center of the screen and 20-28 inches from the eyes to reduce eyestrain and overexertion. Any reference materials should be positioned just below a computer monitor, but above the keyboard. The goal is to place the document in an area where you don’t have to move your head much to view them.

REDUCE LIGHTING AND GLARE
Avoid glare by positioning the screen correctly avoiding overhead light. Utilize blinds when needed and replace light bulbs with a lower wattage option. If glare from outside light sources is unavoidable, consider using a screen glare filter to help your eyes remain comfortable throughout the day.

REMEMBER TO BLINK!
Reduce incidence of dry eye by consciously blinking frequently, this will help keep your eyes moist naturally.

BLUTECH LENSES
BluTech lenses improve contrast, clarity, visual acuity and night vision and most importantly improve your quality of sleep.

Overexposure to blue light may put you at risk for: Sleep problems, eye strain, headaches, migraines, and macular damage.

BluTech Lenses filter blue light via a unique, patented combination of Ocular Lens Pigment and melanin. No other clear lens filters more of the damaging blue light known to be associated with blur, glare, macular damage, and sleep cycle disruption without distorting color.

WHAT YOUR EYE CARE PROVIDER CAN DO FOR YOU.
If you are experiencing any symptoms that resemble computer vision syndrome or retinal damage be sure to schedule an appointment with a trusted eye care provider. CVS and/or retinal damage can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. Testing may include a discussion of your visual history, visual acuity measurements, a refraction assessment, and a measure of how well your eyes focus, move, and work together.

Your Rx Optical doctor can then either adjust your prescription to meet the unique visual demands of consistent computer use or if haven’t experienced vision issues in the past, can prescribe a pair of eyeglasses for screen use only. Our eye doctors are well-equipped to meet the changing needs of any lifestyle and is there to make sure your eyes remain healthy and active – no matter what.

Sources:

https://www.vsp.com/computer-vision-syndrome.html

https://www.ft.com/content/435eef82-654e-11e6-8310-ecf0bddad227

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/health/americans-screen-time-nielsen/

http://blutechlenses.com/

Experts predict global epidemic of blindness in 10 years

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MAKEUP AND YOUR EYES

MAKEUP AND YOUR EYES
Applying eye makeup is part of a regular morning ritual for many. Eye makeup is a fun way to give the appearance of longer lashes, more definition and brighter eyes.

However, if cosmetics are not used properly, they can affect the health and appearance of your eyes. Applying makeup incorrectly or without proper care can cause infections, allergic reactions and injury – definitely not the desired result.

Keep your eyes healthy and beautiful by practicing our eye care safety tips, just in time for Workplace Eye Wellness Month!

THROWAWAY EYE MAKEUP EVERY THREE MONTHS
Eyelashes naturally have bacteria on them. Each time you use a mascara wand and stick it back into the container, you are introducing bacteria. To reduce the chances of buildup and potential infections, throw away your eye makeup every three months – no matter how expensive it was.

WASH YOUR HANDS AND TOOLS BEFORE APPLYING EYE COSMETICS
Always wash your hands before you begin applying eye makeup. Transferring bacteria or makeup residue into your eyes can cause injury, infection or irritation. Also ensure that all cosmetic tools you’re placing near your eyes are clean. If you plan to curl your eyelashes, always do it before applying mascara and clean the tool prior to placing it on your eyes.

STAY AWAY FROM GLITTER (SORRY, LADY GAGA FANS!)
While fun in theory, glitter can easily transfer off your face and into your eyes causing irritation and injury.Avoid makeup that has glitter in it to prevent the chances of it moving around on your face and scratching your cornea. A corneal abrasion (scratched cornea) is one of the most common eye injuries (and it isn’t fun).

DON’T SHARE MAKEUP
Sharing makeup increases the chances of sharing infection. Cross contamination can occur when two or more people share the same cosmetic. The biggest concern for sharing makeup is passing along infections or bacteria; not surprisingly, another person’s bacteria can be harmful to you.

AVOID USING MAKEUP ON YOUR WATERLINE
Unsharpened eyeliners can potentially scratch the cornea and injure the eye. Corneal injuries often cause significant discomfort, red eyes and hypersensitivity to light. Eyeliners and eyeshadows on the waterline may be trendy, but they can also shift and get into the eyes, causing discomfort and irritation (not worth it).

THOROUGHLY WASH YOUR FACE EACH NIGHT
Listen to your mom on this one. Sleeping with makeup on increases the possibility of makeup and bacteria shifting and can cause irritability and soreness in your eyes. Use a warm washcloth with makeup remover or water each night to thoroughly wash all your makeup off. Your pillowcase (and your face) will thank you!

SO, WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GET MAKEUP IN YOUR EYES?
If you do get makeup in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with clean water or eye-wash solution. If you are wearing contact lenses, take them out before flushing out your eyes. Flush out your eyes until you have removed the eyeliner, mascara or other cosmetics. Once you’ve removed the makeup from your eyes, apply moisturizing eye drops. Clean your contact lenses with cleaning solution before storing or inserting them. Do not re-insert your contacts until the irritation has passed.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DEVELOP AN EYE INFECTION OR ENCOUNTER AN INJURY?
If you experience eye soreness, redness, irritation, buildup or swelling, promptly make an appointment with your eye doctor. Your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat viral infections and injuries. After encountering an infection, dispose of all your eye makeup to avoid re-infection.

Take care of your eyes and follow our safe makeup tips. If you experience any unexplained redness or irritation, schedule an appointment ASAP – (800) RX CARES.

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THERE’S MORE TO VISION AND EYE HEALTH THAN YOUR PRESCRIPTION

Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam isn’t normally in the top 10 of anyone’s to-do list, unless they are experiencing vision issues and/or optical discomfort – but it should be. An eye exam evaluates your vision, determining whether a prescription is necessary, but much more is happening behind the scenes. So much so, that it can closely resemble a physical when you consider what a comprehensive eye exam can detect.

People say that eyes are the windows to the soul, and that kind of makes sense. The retina, or the thin layer at the back of the eye, is where doctors can get a close-up view of your blood vessels and nerves (without going under the knife). This means optical doctors can detect a variety of medical conditions in their earliest stages, just by looking into your eyes.

What can optical doctors detect?

DIABETES
Diabetes can affect the small capillaries in the retina of the eyes. If your doctor detects a small amount of retinal bleeding, or the leaking of a yellow-like substance, this may be a symptom of diabetic retinopathy.

HYPERTENSION
When blood vessels in the retina narrow and display kinks, bends, or tears, this may be an indication of high blood pressure. Since this is the only place small blood vessels can be seen, any problems found in your retina (such as high blood pressure) are repeated in the unseen blood vessels within your body.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL
Some people who develop high cholesterol have small pockets of fat deposited under the skin and these can occur on the eyelids. Giving it a yellowish color, a xanthelasma on the eyelid isn’t necessary uncomfortable, but may appear slightly raised. If the cornea (the transparent layer forming the front of the eye) has a yellowish appearance, that may be a sign of high cholesterol as well.

TUMORS
During an optical examination, doctors will look for signs of droopy eyelids, blurry vision, improper pupil dilation, and optic nerve color. If something doesn’t check out, you will most likely receive a referral to a neurologist for more in-depth testing.

THYROID DISORDERS
While there are many signs of a thyroid disorder such as fatigue, weight fluctuations, mood swings, and muscle pain, bulging or protruding eye balls can also be a sign of a thyroid disorder called Graves Disease. There are varying levels of eye-related symptoms – on one hand, the eyes may just seem a bit puffy, but to the other extreme, you can suffer from vision loss if the pressure of the swelling interferes with the optic nerve.

CANCER
Ocular melanoma can develop in the cells that produce eye pigmentation. While rare, this form of skin cancer can develop inside your eye and can be detected through a routine eye exam. Skin cancer can also be detected, and is often found more often than Ocular melanoma.

NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS
While everyone may experience eye ticks now and then, a chronic eye tick could be an indicator of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. During an exam, the doctor can check for abnormalities in your retina and see if there’s any inflammation in your optic nerve, an indicator of MS.

Going beyond the prescription also involves testing for additional eye related issues such as cataracts, corneal diseases, eye infections, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Comprehensive eye exams are recommended every 1 to 2 years – and not just to ensure the health of your eyes, but your entire body as well.

Looking for an eye care provider? Find your Rx Optical doctor today.

Sources:

http://yoursightmatters.com/7-health-problems-eye-exams-can-detect/

https://www.vsp.com/health-conditions.html

http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/shocking-diseases-eye-doctors-find-first/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/403487-can-you-tell-if-you-have-high-cholesterol-by-an-eye-exam/