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!

 

 

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…

 

Read More
rx optical blog image understanding polarized lenses 050218

UNDERSTANDING POLARIZED LENSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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