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

Exercise and Eyesight

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

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

Make Exercise a Priority

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

Exercise Tips

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

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

Diet and Exercise

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

Get Involved

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

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

 

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

The Worst Foods for Your Eye Health

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

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

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

Condiments, Toppings, and Dressings

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

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

White or Plain Colored Foods

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

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

Fatty Meats

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

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

Margarine

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

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

Unsaturated Fats

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

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

 

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

 

blog image digital world for client review

HOW IS THE DIGITAL WORLD IMPACTING OUR EYES?

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

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

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

Symptoms include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

http://blutechlenses.com/

Experts predict global epidemic of blindness in 10 years

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SEEING IS A GIFT

Sight is a gift that we often take for granted, we don’t really think about our eyes until there is a problem. That is why on Valentine’s Day we want to remind you to cherish your vision and show your eyes some love. Check out our tips below.

  1. Visit Rx Optical and browse our extensive selection of frames, sunglasses, safety glasses and more. Our offices are set up to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. We love when you visit, so check out one of our 54 locations for your eyewear.
  2. Did you know that the antioxidants in coffee are beneficial to eye health? And it isn’t just coffee. It also includes eggs, leafy greens, berries and cold-water fish such as salmon. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help prevent dry eyes and keep the retina healthy.
  3. Stay shady and cool in the winter. Wear those shades, even on cloudy days and protect your eyes against harmful UV rays. 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.
  4. Wash your makeup off at night before heading to bed. Sleeping in your makeup can cause allergic reactions, dry eyes, loss of eyelashes, toxic heavy metals and bacterial infections. Scary stuff, right?
  5. Reduce screen time. Take a break from your computer or device and rest your eyes. Digital eye strain is very real and affects 75% of those that use computers regularly, leading to muscular strain, muscular stress and eye discomfort. Find out more about Blutech lenses and how they can protect your eyes.

The best way to show love to your eyes is to schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam with Rx Optical. When you visit us, we check for acuity as well as overall eye health and answer any questions you may have.

Go ahead and show your eyes the love they deserve and call (800) RX CARES today. Thank you for being our most favorite Valentine. Happy Valentine’s Day!

GLASSES OR CONTACTS? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

Let’s say you just found out, from Rx Optical, that you need glasses…now what? Usually, the first question that patients have is, “Glasses or contacts?” Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Our opticians will sit down with you and discuss your lifestyle, activities, and the pros and cons of both glasses and contacts. We have so many options available that you don’t need to choose one or the other.

For those that need a little extra vision enhancement, we have a ton of options to choose from. From Progressive to BlueTech lenses, to the latest contact lens technology, at RX Optical we think your glasses or lenses should not only enhance your vision but should fit every part of your life.

At Rx Optical, we offer both a wide array of lenses and frames for glasses and also competitively priced contact lenses. Here are the perks of both.

Glasses:

If you want your eyewear to make a statement about who you are, glasses might be the way to go. We offer an assortment of frames in styles that endure, so while your prescription might get outdated, your frames never will.

Your glasses should protect your vision and support your style. So, pair your favorite frames with the perfect lenses to blend style and function. Today, lenses do more than simply enhance your vision. BluTech lenses protect your eyes from the harmful light of your devices. Progressive Lenses make bifocal glasses less obvious and make the transition easier for the wearer.

More benefits:

  • Our specials and promotions make it easy to afford multiple frames so your glasses can fit your ever-evolving style
  • Less likely to irritate eyes, dry out eyes

Contacts:

When you choose contacts, the perfect fit is key. Our doctors measure you for the best fit and recommend and prescribe the latest in contact lens technology. We want you to have a comfortable contact lens wearing experience so our lenses fit all lifestyles.

If you’re worried about price, we have priced our contact lenses to beat the big names on the internet – just high enough for us to keep the lights on, but low enough to make sure you don’t need to go anywhere else.

If you lead an active lifestyle, play sports, have an active job or are constantly on the move, contacts are a great choice. For the most active wearer, daily contacts might be the best choice.

Contacts also:

  •  Won’t block peripheral vision like frames can
  •  Aren’t affected by weather conditions, won’t fog up

But, before deciding between contacts and glasses, keep in mind that one is not necessarily better than the other, and the best choice may be both. You should always have an up-to-date pair of glasses just in case you need to stop wearing your contacts, your eyes feel irritated, or you just want a different look for the day.

If you’re still unsure which route to go, give us a call today at (800) RX CARES.

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MAKE VISION PART OF YOUR BACK-TO-SCHOOL ROUTINE

As back-to-school time approaches, some kids might be excited about going back, and some kids may be dreading it. For most parents, we are experiencing relief in getting back to a structured schedule.

If your kid seems to be even more upset about school this year, there might be more to their hesitation than a simple dislike of school.

1 in 4 kids have an undetected vision problem, and when kids have a hard time seeing, their frustration will come out in a number of ways. Often, if kids can’t see the front of the classroom or the book in front of them, they’ll misbehave out of frustration. And vision problems can lead to more than trouble-making. 80% of the learning a child does is through their eyes, and when they have a hard time focusing or retaining information, their vision could be to blame.

As your kids prepare to head back to school, make sure their vision is clear. While they’re home, watch for signs of vision issues such as:

  • Squinting when watching TV
  • Not being able to see 3D content
  • Headaches when reading
  • Clumsiness in sports

Learning will be even more difficult if the eyes aren’t providing a clear, focused image their developing brain and early vision problems can have long-lasting effects.

According to the Vision Council of America, regular screenings by an eye doctor are the best way to ensure healthy vision and school success.

Are your kids ready for reading, sports, and screens? Include vision screenings in your back-to-school shopping by taking advantage of our Back-To-School Special. Now through the end of October, complete eye exams for kids 4 to 18 are only $19. And, if glasses become part of the plan, we have a special on a lens and frame package during the length of the special.

Make sure your kids can see their future clearly, call or stop in today for a $19 eye exam!

We pride ourselves in taking the time to understand each of our patient's unique needs and then develop customized , high quality solutions to meet those needs.

HAPPY VISION HEALTH MONTH!

Our people make us better and we’re not just talking about our opticians, but our technicians and eyeglass specialists. In fact, if you were to wander into our lab you would see Dave (pictured above) who oversees everything there. He spends hours ensuring your eyeglasses get the personal attention they deserve.

In our blog last week, we talked about our mantra: patients are people, not numbers. We credit that to Dave and everyone else that works at Rx Optical. We pride ourselves on taking the time to understand each of our patients’ unique needs and then develop customized, high quality solutions to meet those needs.

We know your life is demanding and eye health can often take a back seat to other things. As we enter May, Vision Health Month, we want to remind you to give your eyes the attention they need and deserve

We guarantee a customized experience with our certified opticians (and Dave). Whether you’re in need of a full eye exam or a simple frame adjustment, give your eyes some extra attention this month by scheduling an appointment.

While you are there you can also browse our wide selection of products. We use the highest quality frames and lenses to make sure you have a positive wearing experience day-in and day-out.

Life is too short for blurred vision, stop in and get your custom eye care solution today.

One last thing, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your vision care – we don’t take you for granted.

Happy Vision Health Month!