Rx Optical Blog Image Cosmetic Contacts 10.15.19

Cosmetic Contact Lenses and Your Eyes

Novelty cosmetic contact lenses seem to be all the rage around Halloween. Our team wants to make sure you have a safe holiday, no matter what you’re dressing as.

While these contact lenses might seem like a fun accessory for your costume, they can also hurt your vision.

In the spirit of a safe and fun Halloween, check out this quick FAQ about novelty cosmetic contact lenses, and learn how you can keep your vision safe this year.

Why do you need a prescription?

Did you know that in the United States, you have to have a prescription to order contact lenses? It’s illegal for a company to sell contacts to you unless you show them proof that you have a prescription from an eye doctor. That’s because the federal government classifies all contact lenses as medical devices, not just as accessories.

That means they have to be distributed by a licensed professional. So even if you just plan to use cosmetic or colored contacts for one night, you need a prescription from an eye care professional to purchase them.

This regulation ensures that there is oversight on novelty lenses. Without it, you’d be able to pick up lenses from anywhere, and that’s not safe at all.

What if you have 20-20 vision?

The prescription requirement might seem silly if you aren’t intending to purchase contacts for improved vision, but it’s more important than you think. That’s because there’s more to contacts than just clear vision. You have to think of safety.

Illegally sold lenses lack regulation, meaning they may not meet FDA standards. Those standards include a lack of sterilization or incorrect packaging, which can lead to huge problems for your vision. Non-prescription cosmetic lenses could even cut, scratch or infect your eye, which could result in permanent eye damage.

If you try to purchase contact lenses and you aren’t asked for proof of prescription, turn back! We know that the contacts might look cool, but the risks aren’t worth it at all!

Even if you do everything right, your eyes might still be irritated by the foreign object. In that case, remove the contacts immediately, call your eye doctor, and try some of these tricks for irritated and red eyes while you wait.

What about the fit?

If you get contacts that are made to fit your prescription, you are in good hands. When contacts are made to fit your prescription, that includes more than just the right power. Your contacts also fit the size and shape of your eye and are even made out of a material that suits you best.

Think of contact lenses like a pair of shoes. If they are too big or too small, the shoes cut into your heels and leave your feet irritated and uncomfortable. Contact lenses are similar, so they have to be the right fit for your eye.

Bonus tip: If you purchase cosmetic contact lenses with a prescription for a costume, be sure to still follow the standard rules of contact lens safety. Wash your hands before you apply your lenses and be sure to take them out before you go to bed. While you’re at it, remove all of your costume makeup before you hit the hay, too. Your eyes will thank you in the morning!

If you want colored or cosmetic contacts, visit an eye care professional like us for a prescription and an eye exam. Cosmetic contacts can be a fun way to add additional flare to your costume, as long as you acquire and wear them safely.

Rx Optical Blog Image 2019 Eyelash Trends 07.11.19

Eyelash Trends and Your Eyes

Lash enhancements are all the rage this year, if you haven’t noticed. And it’s no surprise why! Services like lift and tints, eyelash extensions, and magnetic or glue-on lash strips can provide some eye-catching beauty benefits…or at least they might at first. It turns out that the long-term effects of these enhancements can be unhealthy for your lashes and eyes.

Our expert team cares about you and your vision. We also want to help you feel your best! That’s why we’re breaking down how lash enhancements can hurt your eyes. Don’t worry – we’re also offering a beautiful alternative.

Lift and Tint

Also known as a “lash perm,” a lift and tint is a procedure that lifts your lashes for weeks. It’s like curling your lashes with a curling wand but without the extra effort. This service also colors your lashes so they’re bolder, allowing you to ditch the mascara.

Lift and tints are a new procedure, which means they aren’t well regulated yet. We also don’t know all possible side effects. However, we do know that skin irritation like rashes or blisters is very common with this procedure. The chemical solution used in lift and tints is also known to cause irritation in those who have a history of dry eye, allergies, and eye and skin sensitivities.

What if the solution lands in your eye? You are at risk for a corneal abrasion, burn, or ulcer. And that doesn’t mean just when the solution is applied. This could happen if you rub your eye, too. Altogether, it might seem like a convenient procedure, but a lift and tint can be incredibly risky.

Eyelash Extensions

Optometrists around the state and country agree that out of all lash enhancements, eyelash extensions will cause the most harm to your eyes. Salons may advertise the enhancements as a safe and beautiful alternative to mascara, but the extensions can cause more harm than good.

Eyelash extensions are applied one strand at a time. Extensions are attached to a single one of your lashes with formulated, semi-permanent glue. The glue and often the lash extension itself can cause allergic reactions, infections, or styes to develop on the eyelid. And because the procedure typically takes over an hour, dry eyes are the most common symptom that can occur.

Long-term effects from extensions can create serious damage on your lashes. The glue can cause your natural lashes to fall out more frequently, which means they can’t protect your eyes as effectively.

Long story short? Eyelash extensions cause immediate and long-term issues for your eyes.

Magnetic and Glue-On Strips

Lash strips are often seen as a safe and much less costly alternative to other lash enhancements. These are applied on the lash line to give eyes an extra oomph. Glue-on strips can create similar issues to what eyelash extensions cause, thanks to the glue that accompanies them.

While magnetic strips eliminate glue, they can still create pressure on your natural lashes. This causes stress, which can make your natural lashes fall out more frequently.

A Healthy Alternative

With all these side effects, you might be wondering what the best alternative is. It’s simple: your natural lashes! Your eyelashes are important for blocking dust and debris. They also protect your eyes from foreign objects (like eyelash enhancements). In fact, your natural eyelashes do their best work when nothing is in their way.

Stop in to learn more about your eyelashes and safe alternatives to these enhancements. Our team can’t wait to see you and help you protect your eyes and eyelashes.

Rx Optical Blog Image Water Sports Eye Safety 07.08.19

Water Sports Eye Safety

Sports are a fun way stay healthy, and in the summer, water sports are a great way to cool off. Athletic activities are a blast, but it’s important to be safe while you play. More than 25,000 people seek treatment for sports-related eye injuries every year. We don’t want you to be one of them!

Our team wants to make sure you and your kids have fun, no matter what you’re doing. That’s why we’re sharing the best ways to protect your eyes while playing in the water.

Common Eye Injuries from Water Sports

According to Prevent Blindness, more eye injuries occur from water and pool activities than any other sport! The most common injuries your eyes can suffer from water sports and activities are:

  • Infections
  • Irritations
  • Scratches
  • Trauma from other swimmers
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Eye socket fractures
  • Swollen or detached retinas
  • Traumatic cataracts

If you experience eye irritation or have suffered eye trauma, seek medical help immediately, and be sure to speak with your optometrist as soon as possible.

Proper Protection

To prevent eye injury, it’s important to wear protective eyewear when playing sports, whether they’re on land or not. Did you know that regular glasses and eyewear aren’t effective at protecting your eyes from sports-related injuries? When it comes to water sports, normal goggles are great, but they won’t keep all pool chemicals or bacteria from oceans and lakes out of your eyes.

That’s why you need safety goggles. When you get safety goggles from an optical office like ours, you’ll get lenses that have protection provided by built-in high-quality polycarbonate. These lenses can also be altered to include your prescription. Not only will your eyes be protected, but you’ll have clear vision so you can perform your best!

Be Prepared

In order to prevent eye injuries, prepare your eyes before you jump into the water. We know it can be hard to wait to get into that pool, but taking a few seconds to prepare yourself now can save you a trip to the doctor later.

As tempting as it may be, don’t wear contacts in the water. When you wear contacts in a pool, lake, ocean, or river, it can increase your risk of getting an infection in your cornea. Bring a travel case and contact solution to store your contacts safely while you wear your goggles.

Speaking of goggles, keep yours in your pool, gym, or beach bag so you’re never left without them. That way you’ll never have to choose between swimming safely and seeing clearly.

Stop in to learn more about our prescription safety goggles and glasses and start protecting your vision today. We can’t wait to see you!

Rx Optical Blog Image Swimming Pool Eye Safety 06.17.19

Eyes Burning? Swimming Pool Eye Safety Tips

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

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

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

Danger of Pool Chemicals

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

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

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

Swimmer’s Eye

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

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

Dry Eye

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

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

Pink Eye

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

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

Protect Your Eyes

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

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

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

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

 

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

Michigan’s 5 Best Summer Getaways

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

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

Charlevoix

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

Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior

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

Bad Axe

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

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

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

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

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

How to Avoid Eye Strain While Reading

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

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

Symptoms

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

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

Reducing Strain at Home or Work

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

Digital Screens

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

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

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

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

Eye Exam

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

The Best Seat in the House

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

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

Baseball Binoculars

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

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

Stylish Sunglasses

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

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

The Perfect Hat

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

Your Baseball Glove

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

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

 

 

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

How Eye Color Impacts Your Vision

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

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

The Science of Eye Color

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

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

Light vs. Dark

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

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

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

Sports Performance

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

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

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

Contacts vs. The Ocean: Your Eyes and Spring Break

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

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

Swimming and Contacts

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

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

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

But I Will Wear Goggles!

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

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

Contact Care After Ocean Water

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

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

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

Have a safe and fun spring break!

 

 

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

Rx Optical in the News

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

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

A Guide to Glasses

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

image3

National Sunglasses Day

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

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

Rx Optical discusses the importance of sunglasses.

Back-to-School Tips

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

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

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

Halloween Horrors

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

Check out the vision-saving interview here.

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

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

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

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

The Best Spring Staycations in Michigan

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

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

Ann Arbor

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

Grand Haven

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

Copper Harbor

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

Traverse City

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

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

 

A green ribbon with the words, "Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and it affects more than 2.7 million Americans every year."

4 Symptoms & Signs of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases; the two main types are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma. These are caused by an increase in pressure inside the eye, which leads to optic nerve damage. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain, and if it is damaged, vision will be impaired or permanently lost.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and it affects more than 2.7 million Americans every year. Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of vision” because there are virtually no early warning signs to indicate glaucoma. The best way to detect glaucoma early on is through a comprehensive eye exam.

While there are no early warning signs, there are several symptoms, for the two main types of glaucoma, to be aware of:

Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) Symptoms

Blind Spots

Frequent patchy blind spots in your peripheral, or main line of sight, in both of your eyes can be an indication of glaucoma.

Tunnel Vision

In advance stages of POAG, tunnel vision will occur. Tunnel vision is when objects being viewed cannot be properly seen if they are not close to the center of the field of view.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma Symptoms

Halos

Halos around lights are an indicator of glaucoma. Halos are bright circles that surround a light source when you are viewing it, and that will ultimately interfere with your overall vision.

Eye Pain

Glaucoma can cause eye pain to occur on the surface of the eye or within a deeper structure of the eye. Eye pain should not be taken lightly, and if it persists, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Along with the above symptoms, severe headaches and blurred vision are also possible indicators of glaucoma. If you experience any these symptoms it is extremely important to visit an eye doctor as soon as possible. For those over 40 who are not yet experiencing any of these symptoms, it is still important to have annual comprehensive eye exams in order to detect eye diseases in their early stages and protect your vision.

 

At Rx Optical, we have a deep understanding of the key indicators and risk factors associated with glaucoma and other vision-stealing eye diseases. Our expert team of doctors are here to help you protect your vision and are committed to helping you see clearer, longer. Stop in, give us a call, or schedule your appointment online.

An instrument used to test eye sight with the phrase, "At Rx Optical, we are dedicated to helping you see clearly. Don't ignore the signs!" superimposed over it

5 Signs You Need to Get Your Eyes Checked

Are you straining to see at night or when working on a computer or your phone? Does your head hurt after being in front of a screen or reading fine print?

These issues are not something you should live with; in fact, they are all signs of vision problem. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam might not be at the top of your to-do list, but it should be, especially if you are experiencing vision issues and/or optical discomfort.

These 5 signs are the most common indicators that your eyes need to be checked through a comprehensive eye exam.

Night Sight

Are you noticing you can see fine in normal lighting but as soon as the lighting dims or you are in darkness, you have issues seeing? Do you are having trouble driving at night and reading signs at night? Or, do you are feel uncomfortable driving at night?

These are indications that you should have your eyes checked. With these symptoms, you could be experiencing night blindness. Night blindness is very common especially in older adults and is the first symptom of a cataract.

It’s All a Blur

If you are experiencing sudden blurry or unfocused vision, it could be a sign of a bigger health issue. If you start to notice that text in books is becoming fuzzy when read up close it could be an indicator of farsightedness or astigmatism. In aging patients, this can also be a sign of presbyopia.

Screen-time Strain

Computer and phone screens can cause serious strain on the eyes and can create computer vision syndrome (CVS). Common symptoms of CVS are eyestrain, headache, difficulty focusing, itchy or burning eyes, dry eyes, blurred or double vision, and light sensitivity.

If believe you are experiencing CVS, you should schedule an eye exam to discuss the strain you are putting on your eyes. In the meantime, follow the 20-20-20 rule, position your screen and documents accordingly, reduce lighting and glare, remember to blink, and use BluTech Lenses. 

Frequent Headaches

Headaches can be common; however, reoccurring headaches can be an early warning of a change in vision. When the cornea and lens fail to focus, the small muscles in the eyes are forced to work harder, which causes eye strain and can result in headaches. Sometimes staring at a computer screen for too long or working in either dim or overly bright light may be the reason why.

If you are struggling with frequent headaches, set up an eye exam as soon as possible. If you work in front of a screen often or in a dimly light room, take breaks every hour to allow your eyes to rest. If this symptom goes untreated, astigmatism, near, or farsightedness could occur.

Flashes, Floaters, Obstructed Vision – Oh My!

If you see floaters or flashes of light in your vision, this could indicate a serious eye disorder like a hole, detachment, or retinal tear.

Small specks that move in your vision field are called floaters; they are deceiving because they often look like they are part of what you are looking at outside of your eye but they are floating inside your eye.

An eye exam evaluates your vision and is extremely thorough. A comprehensive eye exam can closely resemble a physical when you consider what an eye exam can detect. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to schedule an eye exam as soon as possible to eliminate a serious eye disorder.

 

At Rx Optical, we are dedicated to helping you see clearly. Don’t ignore the signs! Stop in, give us a call, or schedule your appointment online.

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 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 Social Image Common Sports Injuries 09.13.18

3 Common Sports Eye Injuries and How to Treat Them

With the official start of fall right around the corner, and back-to-school season in full swing, it’s time for sports!

If your child is involved with sports, or you play one yourself, then you know that there are risks when you play the game. In a society where sports injuries are very common, and sometimes ignored due to the “walk it off” mentality, it is important that sports eye injuries are taken seriously.

We want to make sure your child is safe this sports season, that you know what to look for in an eye injury, and how to properly treat it.

Classification
Sports are classified as either collision or non-contact, which can be misleading in terms of the level of risk for an eye injury. Some collision sports, like hockey or lacrosse, require helmets that often times have built-in eye protection. Non-contact sports, like golf, tennis or baseball, may sound more safe, but these sports do not require eye protection, leaving the eyes more susceptible to injury.

Types of Injuries
There are several different types of eye injuries, however the most common are:

  • Blunt
    Blunt injuries are the most common sports-related eye injury. A direct blow to the eye from something that is bigger than the eye socket, usually a ball or an opponent’s body part, will cause fractures of thin bones in the eye.
    A direct blow to the eye that is smaller than the eye socket will cause rapid compression and dilation in the eye, which transfers a strong force on the eye, often times causing bleeding.
  • Penetrating
    Penetrating eye injuries occur when something cuts the eye. This can be from someone else’s finger or finger nail, sports equipment, large projectiles, or broken glasses from regular glasses frames.
  • Radiation
    Radiation injuries occur when there is overexposure to the sun. This is most common in outdoor sports where there are reflective surfaces, like snow skiing, water skiing, or fishing.
    Don’t forget, it is possible to get a sun burn on your eyes, so be sure to wear proper UV protection.

How to Treat
The best thing you can do when a serious eye injury occurs is to immediately seek medical attention. If the injury is less serious, make an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Don’t let your child return to playing the sport until they have been officially cleared by a doctor. Additional physical activity may worsen the injury.

How to Prevent
With eye injuries being the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States, it is extremely important that children wear protective eyewear when playing sports. Sports safety lenses are made from polycarbonate material, which provides the highest level of impact protection and prevents eye injuries.

Sports safety frames can be fit with prescription lenses, which are a sports-safe alternative to glasses or contacts.

You can also avoid eye injuries by wearing a helmet that is equipped with an eye shield. Even if a helmet or sports safety glasses are not required for your sport, consider wearing them for add-ed protection. Set an example for the rest of your team by playing smarter, and safer.

At Rx Optical, we care about you and your children’s eye health. We understand how important sports can be, but we want to make sure everyone is safe when playing the games they love. Our skilled team of eye doctors can evaluate eye injuries and quickly set up plans for treatment.

For more information, check out our recent blogs on the importance of sports safety glasses and how to choose the right sports safety frames.

Before your child hits the field this year, set up an appointment with us to have them fitted for sports safety frames at one of our 54 locations. We can’t wait to see you!

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.

Proper protective eyewear can prevent up to 90% of all eye injuries

FIT + FRAME MATTER: PRESCRIPTION SAFETY GLASSES

At Rx Optical, our patients trust us to protect their eyes and support overall health. That’s why we carry the best prescription safety glasses available. We take safety glasses seriously, as we know that the work our patients do when wearing them is important. Proper protective eyewear can prevent up to 90% of all eye injuries, and we are here to help.

When selecting your next pair of prescription safety glasses, make sure to keep the following in mind:

THE RIGHT FIT
Working with a trained professional who makes sure your glasses fit correctly is key. If your prescription safety glasses are either too snug or too loose, you will find yourself struggling with them all day. It’s not safe to have to continually adjust your glasses. The right fit will allow you to not notice them at all, meaning that you can focus on what is important: the work at hand and staying safe. If you find yourself adjusting your glasses throughout the day, it’s time to make an appointment.

THE RIGHT FRAME
Selecting the right frame is so important when it comes to prescription safety glasses. Glasses that are approved to use for protection are tested for high mass impact, durability, and high velocity impact – quite the rigorous tests! Rx Optical offers superior frame selection to make sure your pair of prescription safety glasses are the best frame for you. Our glasses meet both OSHA and ANSI standards, and come in a variety of materials and finishes.

THE RIGHT REPLACEMENT
This may seem obvious, but it is not safe to wear the same pair of prescription safety glasses beyond your doctor’s orders. Regular eye exams to check to make sure your prescription strength is correct and that your frames, lenses, and fit are still on-point is an important step to ensure your eyes are healthy and protected.

With competitive prices and superior frame selection, our team is able to provide the most technically advance safety glasses on the market. Schedule an exam today to find the right frames for you.

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.