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A Quick Guide To Glasses Care

If you wear glasses, you know the never-ending struggle to keep them clean of streaks, spots, smudges, and scratches.

There are times when it’s tempting to just reach for the hem of your shirt, but if you want those lenses to last as long as they should, it’s important to clean them the right way. That’s why we’ve put together a list of glasses cleaning dos and don’ts for you to use!

How NOT To Clean Your Glasses

  • The number one thing not to do when cleaning lenses is to wipe them with tissues, paper towels, napkins, or any other paper product. No matter how soft these materials are, they are still made of wood pulp and can easily scratch the lenses.
  • Avoid wiping your glasses with clothing. Throughout the day, your clothes accumulate dust and grime, and these particles can cause scratches even if the material itself doesn’t.
  • Don’t use everyday cleaners. Chemicals like ammonia and window cleaner can wear down the protective coatings on the lenses.
  • Don’t set the lenses down unprotected, and especially don’t stuff them into a bag or pocket. This leaves them vulnerable to debris and scratching, not to mention your risk of smudging them when you accidentally pick them up by the lenses instead of the frame.
  • Don’t leave the lenses in areas prone to splatter and spray, such as the kitchen or bathroom counter. Things like hair spray and perfume can also damage the coatings on lenses.

Glasses Cleaning Dos

  • To get those glasses squeaky clean, use warm water and a drop of dish soap. Gently lather the lenses, frames, and nose pads, then wipe them with a clean and dry handkerchief, cotton cloth, or microfiber cloth.
  • Always store your glasses in a hard case. Doing so will help reduce the exposure to debris like airborne dust. If you don’t have a case, make sure to at least store them with the lenses facing upward to protect them from scratching.
  • For glasses cleaning on-the-go, you can either buy special solution and keep a dedicated cleaning rag with it, or you can mix your own cleaner by filling a small spritzer bottle with water and then adding one drop of dish soap.
  • If the lenses do get scratched, bring your glasses to us so that we can fix them instead of trying to buff out the scratches yourself, which could do more damage.

Here are a few more tips to make your life with glasses easier:

Come To Us With Your Glasses Concerns

Whenever your glasses need more than simple cleaning, don’t hesitate to come to us. Whether the lenses are scratched or cracked, the coatings are wearing off, or the frames themselves are bent or not fitting right, we can either fix them or help you find the perfect new pair.

Our practice is happy to provide you with what you need!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Taking Care of Your Eyes in the Digital Age

From the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed, more and more of us are on our smartphones, tablets, computers or other digital devices. That’s a lot of eyeballs glued to a lot of screens.

If you count yourself among the 90% of adults who spend two or more hours a day in front of a screen of some sort, there’s something you should know: You could be putting yourself at risk for digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome.

It’s a problem that is occurring more and more frequently — even in kids.

Symptoms may include dry, red and irritated eyes, fatigue, eye strain, blurry vision, problems focusing, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain.

Digital eye strain — more common than you think

When spending long periods of time concentrating on digital devices, the blink rate may be reduced by up to 66% on average, resulting in dry, itchy or burning eye.

Other factors include the size of the font, your posture, your computer set-up, and the amount of blue light emitted from your screen.

Take steps to protect your eyes now

The good thing is that if your screen habits put you at risk for digital eye strain, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your eyes.

  1. Build a workspace that promotes good posture. Center your computer screen at arms-length and slightly below eye level. This helps you keep your back straight, and helps you maintain a proper distance from your screen.
  2. Position your screen to minimize glare. Do not tilt it upward.
  3. Some eye doctors recommend investing in computer eyewear with an anti-reflective lens that can also be combined with a specially formulated coating that blocks and selectively absorbs blue light.
  4. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, and look at something at least 20 feet away.
  5. Adjust the brightness of your device. Consider changing the background color from bright white to cool gray.
  6. Lessen the amount of overhead light and surrounding light competing with your device’s screen.
  7. Increase text size to make it easier to read.
  8. Don’t forget to blink. Blinking lubricates your eyes so they stay moist and healthy.
  9. If you have children, consider limiting their screen time, and reducing your own screen time to set a healthy example.

Talk to your eye care professional if you think you’re at risk

While it would be ideal to cut down the amount of time you spend in front of a screen each day, it’s not always realistic. Let your eye care professional know if you are on digital devices excessively. Especially if you wear contact lenses. Fortunately, there are contact lenses that are designed specifically for the digital age, like Bausch + Lomb ULTRA® contact lenses. They feature MoistureSeal® technology, which helps lenses maintain 95% of their moisture for a full 16 hours.

If you’re at a screen more often than not, and you wear contact lenses, be sure to talk to your eye doctor about which lenses are best for you.

Bausch + Lomb ULTRA and MoistureSeal are trademarks of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Protecting Your Eyes From Snow Blindness

Have your eyes ever felt gritty and watery after an outdoor adventure? Maybe you felt a burning sensation and suffered temporary vision loss?

If this sounds familiar to you, you may have been exposed to high levels of UV rays from light reflections while boating, hiking at high elevation, or participating in snow sports like skiing and snowboarding. This condition, formally called photokeratitis, is particularly common in winter, and you might have heard of it by the name “snow blindness.”

Why Snow Blindness?

Photokeratitis is essentially getting a sunburn on the surface of your eye. This can happen in most climates with strong sunlight, particularly when there are reflective surfaces such as white sand, water, or especially snow. You could also get it without any sun at all, from man-made sources of light like welding torches!

The reason photokeratitis is so much more common in winter is that the snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV rays that hit the ground, so your eyes get almost a double dose of sunlight. The high altitude is a factor as well. One of the dangerous things about photokeratitis is that, like a normal sunburn, it can take hours before the symptoms appear. As a result, you might keep exposing your eyes to harmful UV rays even after  the damage has begun, making the condition more severe.

Soothing Snowblind Eyes

If you do get snow blindness as you enjoy winter activities, there are a few simple ways you can treat it to help your eyes recover more quickly. Photokeratitis dries out the eyes, so you’ll want to restore the lost moisture with things like wet cloths, humidifiers, and eyedrops. Remove your contacts if you wear them and avoid rubbing your eyes. If possible, you might also want to cover the affected eye (or eyes) with patches so that they aren’t further irritated by additional light.

Having The Right Eye Protection

Knowing how to treat snow blindness is useful, but it’s even better to avoid getting it in the first place. That’s where protective eye wear comes in, so you can spend as much time as you want shredding moguls on your snowboard or carving slopes on your skis this season. Make sure to get sunglasses — or, preferably, ski goggles — that block 100 percent of UV light. Polarized lenses will also greatly reduce glare and help you see contrast better in the snow.

We’re Here For You

Snow blindness typically heals on its own after a day or two, but if your symptoms are worsening after the first day or aren’t going away after the second day, you should come see us immediately. We hope you have a wonderful time this ski season, but don’t forget to protect your vision!

We love all of our patients!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Toys And Activities For Vision Development

Just like learning how to walk and talk, your baby also has to learn how to see!

There are many ways you can help them develop their visual skills, from the right types of toys to buy to the right types of games to play with them at certain ages.

The First Six Months

A newborn’s world is filled with blurry shapes, light, and shadows. At first, they can only focus on objects about eight to ten inches from their faces—the distance between their eyes and the face of the person holding them.

As your baby’s sight grows clearer and sharper, here are some things you can do to encourage those developing vision skills:

  • Move objects around in front of them, which will help them learn to track things with their eyes.
  • Fill their surroundings with color. Babies can get bored if there’s nothing interesting to look at, and you want them looking around as much as possible! They find mobiles hanging over their cribs particularly fascinating (but you still might want to add some variety by changing out the objects every so often).
  • Play peek-a-boo! Babies get lots of practice focusing their eyes thanks to that mysterious person or object that keeps vanishing like magic!

6-12 Months

At the age of about six months, your baby will begin developing hand-eye coordination. You’ll want to give them plenty of colorful objects to grab and play with.

Crawling helps babies develop coordination between their eyes and their bodies—even better than walking! They don’t always remember that their heads don’t end at their eyes, though, so they might get a few bumps on their little noggins while they explore!

It’s time to move on from peek-a-boo. Your baby now understands object permanence, which means they no longer think Mommy and Daddy are wizards who can make themselves and objects blink out of existence simply by hiding behind their hands. Instead, you can play hide-and-seek, challenging them to figure out where you hid their toy.

You can also start reading to your child at this age, although it’ll be a few more years before they figure out how that works.

1-3 Years

Your baby is now a toddler! It’s time to step things up again. One-year-olds will further develop their hand-eye coordination by bouncing, throwing, and chasing balls (and probably a few objects not meant for throwing). Visual skills are linked with other important developmental skills, like balance and comprehension. They’ll start putting names to objects, and they’ll love rocking horses and other simple riding toys.

Two-year-olds will discover their artistic talents! Make sure to give them plenty of drawing materials. They’ll also do much more interesting things with blocks than they have so far and interlocking blocks will be particularly fun.

For a clearer picture of what your baby sees at various ages, watch this video:

Infant and Toddler Eye Health

Even if you’re doing everything you can to encourage your child to develop the right visual skills by the typical ages, it’s still important to bring them in for eye exams. Older children can tell you with words when their eyes aren’t functioning properly, but it can be harder to tell there’s a problem with the eyesight of an infant or toddler. Your baby should have his or her first eye exam by six months old!

We’re dedicated to making sure you and your children can see clearly!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Envisioning a greater future: One contact lens at a time.

We all try to be good stewards of the earth. We go out of our way to recycle paper, glass, plastic. Many of us even compost.

But what about daily disposable contact lenses? We wear them once then toss them. Good for our eyes, not so good for the planet.

Here’s some good news that may surprise you: Thanks to #ONEbyONE, a free contact lens recycling program created by Bausch + Lomb and TerraCycle®, you can recycle your contact lenses and blister packs — and you don’t even have to go out of your way.

How #ONEbyONE works

Every day, store your used blister packs, top foil, and daily disposable contact lenses in a small, shippable cardboard box. Once your box is full, simply return them to us, or print a free shipping label and ship directly to TerraCycle for recycling. You may take the box to any UPS location, or ship from home.

You can also click here to see if there’s a drop-off location near you.

Once your worn contact lenses, blister packs and top foil are received, they will be separated by composition and cleaned. The metal layers of the blister packs are recycled separately, while the contact lenses and plastic blister pack components are melted into plastic that can be remolded to make recycled products.

It’s that simple. But please note, the cardboard boxes your contact lenses come in are large enough for regular municipal recycling and are not accepted into the ONEbyONE program. Toss them in your regular blue (or green) bin.

One more reason to feel good

As if helping preserve the environment isn’t reason enough to feel good, here’s one more: For every pound of accepted Biotrue® ONEday and other Bausch + Lomb brand packaging sent through this program, a $1 donation will be made to Optometry Giving Sight, a global fundraising initiative that helps prevent blindness and vision impairment in people who do not have access to the eye examinations and glasses they need. Donations allow Optometry Giving Sight to support programs that train local eye care professionals, and establish vision centers that can deliver eye care and low-cost glasses.

One small step toward a greater future

This program, launched in November of 2016 and available to both eye care professionals and consumers, is gaining momentum.

More than 1,800 optometry offices have signed up. And as of April 2017, Bausch + Lomb reported that more than 180,000 units of used contact lenses and blister packs had been recycled through #ONEbyONE.

Help spread the word

If you have friends or family members who wear contact lenses, be sure to tell them about #ONEbyONE. It’s easy. And anyone can participate. In addition to Biotrue ONEday contact lenses and blister packs, as well as lenses and packs from other Bausch + Lomb brands, the #ONEbyONE recycling program will accept contact lenses and blister packs from all brands.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Smoking Affects Our Vision

Every organ in the body can be harmed by smoking, and that includes the eyes.

The disease we usually think of when we hear “health risks of smoking” is lung cancer, but the damage smoking can cause isn’t limited to the lungs. A smoking habit can actually damage eyesight faster than disease, and there are a few different ways it happens.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that causes irreversible blindness. It is the deterioration of the macula, the central part of the retina where we see the sharpest detail. Smokers have triple the risk of developing AMD compared to nonsmokers. They’re also more likely to develop it up to ten years earlier than average for nonsmokers.

Increased Risk Of Cataracts

Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, and smoking doubles the riskof developing them—for heavy smokers, it triples it! Early on, cataract symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, light sensitivity, faded colors, and reduced night vision. In most cases, it is possible to surgically remove them and reverse the vision loss.

Smoking And Retinopathy

Retinopathy most commonly affects people with diabetes, in the form of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina, which then bleed into the eye. If the diabetes isn’t very carefully managed, this can starve the light-sensitive cells in the retina of oxygen and lead to blindness. Smoking increases the risk of developing diabetes by 30-40 percent and increases the progression of diabetic retinopathy.

Secondhand Smoke And Vision

Secondhand smoke combines the smoke from the end of the cigarette with the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Not only does smoking affect the vision of the smoker, it can put the vision of everyone around them at increased risk too, in addition to many other negative health effects. Infants and young children are most likely to suffer from this smoke with asthma attacks, infections, and even SIDS.

Breaking The Habit

The good news is that smoking is the most preventable cause of vision loss, because we can either quit smoking or never start. Even someone with a long history of smoking can significantly reduce their risk of health complications by quitting. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of macular degeneration by six percent after just one year, and it also reduces the risk of developing cataracts!

Make The Right Choice For Your Vision Health

If you want help to quit smoking, there are resources all around you. Support from friends, family, and even counselors can be the best help in quitting, and you can also check out the CDC’s website for tips and information. As your eye care specialists, we care deeply about your health, and we encourage you to quit smoking and schedule an eye exam so that we can assess the health of your eyes.

We care about the overall health of all our patients!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.