Rx Optical Blog Image Indoor UV 03.04.20

Protect Your Eyes from Indoor UV

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

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

UV Indoors

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

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

Protect Your Vision Inside

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

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

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

Protect Your Vision in Cars

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

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

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

 

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

Rx Optical Blog Image Spring Break Eye Safety 02.24.20

Spring Break Eye Safety Tips

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

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

Sunglasses

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

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

Contacts

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

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

Pack the Eye Care Essentials

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

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

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

An image of a phone against a black table.

Is Dark Mode Better for Your Eyes?

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

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

Readability

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

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

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

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

Eye Strain

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

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

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

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

So What’s the Verdict?

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

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

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

Rx Optical Blog Image BluTech Lenses 01.13.20

Combating Blue Light with BluTech Lenses

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

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

Blue Light Basics

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

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

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

Blue Light and Vision

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

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

BluTech Lenses and You

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

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

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

Sunglasses sitting next to plants.

Why Sunglasses are Important in the Winter

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

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

Harmful UV Rays

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

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

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

Reflection of Light

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses

It is officially springtime in Michigan and that means warmer weather, blooming flowers and more sunshine. While many people think of sunglasses simply as a fun fashion accessory, they also can be the most important pair of glasses you own.

When you’re headed outdoors, don’t forget to grab your shades, since they’re essential for maintaining healthy vision.

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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.

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National Sunglasses Day

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

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

Rx Optical discusses the importance of sunglasses.

Back-to-School Tips

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

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

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

Halloween Horrors

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

Check out the vision-saving interview here.

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

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

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

A 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 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 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 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

National Sunglasses Day: Rx Optical’s 2018 Summertime Shade Trends

Our friends at Rx Optical are at it again for #NationalSunglassesDay (June 27) and they are showcasing summertime shade trends perfect for walking the boardwalk or exploring Grand Rapids on a beautiful sunny day.

Rx Optical has 53 office locations throughout Michigan, and our team stopped by the Breton Village office to check out their large variety of sunglasses options in order to get ready for National Sunglasses Day. With hundreds of shapes, colors and lenses designs, you are bound to find something perfect for YOU. A few of the hottest trends for summer 2018 are…

 

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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!