Things you should Consider Before Buying Reading Glasses

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When you reach the point of not being able to read up close without stretching your arms to the limit, you may need to consider single-vision reading glasses. Reading glasses come in two main styles: full frames, in which the entire lens is made in the reading prescription, and half-eyes, the smaller “Ben Franklin” style glasses that sit lower down on the nose.

Full reading glasses are suitable for people who spend a great deal of time concentrating on material close-up. If you try to look up and across the room through the reading lenses, everything appears blurry.

In contrast, half-eye reading glasses allow you to look down and through the lenses for near work, and up and over them to see in the distance. Generally, people who have never needed glasses in the past will start out with a pair of reading glasses rather than bifocals or no-line progressive lenses, which are usually a better choice if you have a need for distance as well as near correction.

Handy accessories for temporary use, such as an evening in a dimly lit restaurant, include tiny foldable readers that fit in pen-sized cases and magnifiers that hang around your neck like a pendant.

You may have even seen plastic lenses mounted in credit card-sized holders that slip easily in a wallet — horrible for reading a book, but fine for those moments of desperation when you just want to know if the menu says “filet de boeuf” or “foie gras.”

Also available are tinted reading glasses with UV protection for wearing outdoors in the sun; a popular type is the sunglass bifocal, with a nonprescription upper half for looking far away and a reading prescription in the lower half for close up.

Why Custom-Made Reading Glasses Are Usually
Better Than Pre-Fabricated Ones

Reading glasses can be custom-made for each individual through an optical dispenser, or they can be purchased “ready-made” at a pharmacy or department store.

Ready-made readers became popular in the 1990s: three times more pairs were purchased during that decade than ever before, at an estimated rate of 30 million pairs per year. They are less expensive than custom eyewear, allowing you to own several pairs for a small amount of money.

Ready-made reading glasses are available in lots of fun styles and colors, too, so you can experiment with fashion, purchasing a somewhat outrageous pair of glasses without risking a lot of money.

Research Finds Sports Glasses Boost Performance

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Sports glasses are eyeglasses specially designed to: 1) fit securely and comfortably during physical activity, 2) keep your eyes safe, and 3) enhance your vision to give you an extra performance “edge” in the sports you love.

In most sports, vision drives performance. So to excel during competition, you should make sure your eyesight is in top shape. Even if you have 20/20 vision, the right sports eyewear can reduce glare and enhance contrast to help you see even better and react faster.

Research Finds Sports Glasses Boost Performance

Sports vision specialists agree that sports eyewear can have a profound effect on athletic performance. And research backs up this belief.

In 2003, a sports vision study conducted by British optometrist Geraint Griffiths and other researchers evaluated the effect of mildly blurred vision on the performance of Wimbledon tennis players and UK national clay pigeon shooting champions.* Athletes in the study wore special goggles that only slightly blurred their vision.

The tennis players’ performance was evaluated by how accurately they could return a ball to an archery target set at the opposite baseline. The rifle shooters were judged by the number of clay pigeons they hit.

While wearing the vision-blurring goggles, the tennis players returned 62 percent more balls off-target than normal, with 47 percent fewer bulls-eyes.

Overall, the tennis players and shooters demonstrated a 25 percent worsening of performance when their vision was only slightly blurred.

“Until now, we believed that [an athlete’s] mental ability to predict, say, the trajectory of a ball, is more important than whether the ball is slightly blurred,” said Griffiths.

Since this landmark study, other sports vision researchers have confirmed the importance of proper vision correction and visual skills in sports performance. From ongoing studies, experts have identified some of the key features needed in sports glasses to provide maximum benefits.

 

Infancy and Cataract

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If you are told that your newborn baby has a congenital cataract, this means that the eye’s natural lens is cloudy instead of clear. Vision could be hampered to the extent that cataract surgery may be required for removal of your child’s natural lens (that is, the cataract).

In about 0.4 percent of all births, congenital cataracts are found or soon develop.* Not all congenital cataracts require surgical removal, but many do. Cataracts that cloud only the peripheral portion of the lens may not need removal, because central vision remains unimpeded. Very small cataracts, too, may be considered too insignificant to require surgery.

When Should My Child Have Cataract Surgery?

Opinions vary about when cataract surgery should be performed on an infant, because of concerns about complications such as development of high eye pressure that could lead to secondary glaucoma. High IOP can occur if cataract surgery damages the fluid outflow structure (trabecular meshwork) inside the eye. Also, the use of anesthesia for surgery involving very young infants can be cause for safety concerns.

On the other hand, cataract surgery may need to be performed as soon as possible to ensure that vision is clear enough to allow normal development of your baby’s vision system. Some experts say the optimal time to intervene and remove a visually significant congenital cataract from an infant’s eye is between the ages of 6 weeks and 3 months.

If your baby has a congenital cataract, discuss any concerns you have about timing of cataract surgery with your eye surgeon.

Once the cataract is removed, it is absolutely vital that your child’s eye be corrected with a surgically implanted lens (intraocular lens), contact lens or eyeglasses. Without vision correction following cataract surgery, the eye will have poor vision, and normal infant vision development will be impeded.

Opinions also vary about whether an artificial lens should be surgically inserted in a baby’s eye following cataract surgery because of concerns that normal eye growth and development might be hampered. IOLs also may need to be changed out as your child’s eyes grow and change, not because of any difference in eye size but because refractive or vision errors often change.

Understanding Cataract

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A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil.

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. In fact, there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined, according to Prevent Blindness America (PBA).

Today, cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older. And as the U.S. population ages, more than 30 million Americans are expected to have cataracts by the year 2020, PBA says.

Types of cataracts include:

A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.

A nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. Nuclear cataracts usually are associated with aging.

A cortical cataract is characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the center in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.

Cataract Symptoms and Signs

A cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass or viewing an impressionist painting.

A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.

The type of cataract you have will affect exactly which symptoms you experience and how soon they will occur. When a nuclear cataract first develops, it can bring about a temporary improvement in your near vision, called “second sight.”

Unfortunately, the improved vision is short-lived and will disappear as the cataract worsens. On the other hand, a subcapsular cataract may not produce any symptoms until it’s well-developed.

If you think you have a cataract, see an eye doctor for an exam to find out for sure.

What Causes Cataracts?

The lens inside the eye works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina for clear vision. It also adjusts the eye’s focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away.

The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.

But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

Comprehensive Eye Exams Conducted by Specialists

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Ophthalmologists and optometrists conduct a series of tests to examine the eyes. These tests may vary from simple ones like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests such as utilizing a high-powered lens to visualize the tiny structures and layers inside of your eyes.

A comprehensive eye exam may take an hour or more. The results may also take a few days depending on the doctor and the number of complexity of tests required to fully evaluate your vision and the health of your eyes. To give a better picture, we have rounded up some of the eye exams and vision tests you may encounter during a routine comprehensive eye exam. Read on.

  1. Visual Acuity Tests

One of the most common comprehensive eye exams performed by experts is the visual acuity tests. This can measure the sharpness of your vision. Usually, an eye specialist will use a projected eye chart to measure your distance visual acuity and a small hand, hand-held acuity chart to measure your near vision.

  1. Color Blindness Test

To detect color blindness, eye specialist may conduct an early screening test that checks your color vision in a comprehensive eye exam. Apart from detecting hereditary color vision deficiencies, color blindness tests also can alert your eye doctor to possible eye health problems that can lead to color vision.

  1. Cover Test

While there are many ways for your eye doctor to check how your eyes work together, the cover test is the simplest and most common.During a cover test, your eye doctor will have you focus on a small object across the room and then he or she will cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target.

While doing this, your eye doctor will assess whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia (“lazy eye”). The test is then repeated up close.

  1. Retinoscopy

Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be given a large target (usually the big “E” on the chart) to fixate on. As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes.

Based on the way the light reflects from your eye, your doctor is able to “ballpark” your prescription — sometimes right on the money!

This test is especially useful for children and patients who are unable to accurately answer the doctor’s questions.

 

4 Common Eye Problems

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Most people experience problems with their eyes or poor vision as they get older. This is why it is only advisable to take good care of your eyes. In this post, we will discuss some of the common eye problems. Read on.

  1. Amblyopia (lazy eye)

This condition is usually experienced by infants or children ages 5 to 12. In this stage, the brain does not tolerate double images and may shutdown the vision in the weaker eye. This involuntary loss of vision is called Amblyopia or lazy eye. To explain it further, lazy eye is a healthy eye that does not see. While children only develop this condition, the vision loss can be reversed with therapy if the contributing eye problem is corrected as early as possible.

Parents should not take this for granted. If left untreated, this disease can worsen as the weaker eye does not fully develop. The said condition an also result from other eye problems like ptosis—drooping of the eyelid or a significant refractive error in one eye. This is why we strongly recommend getting your children examined by an eye expert. If detected early amblyopia can be corrected with patching. Some experts may also recommend applying eye drops.

  1. Presbyopia

This refers to the loss of the ability to see objects up close or having a difficulty reading small print clearly. While this is a normal process that could happen slowly over time, some people still develop this condition until after age 40. Many experts recommend wearing reading glasses specifically bifocal glasses to correct the said condition. This allows you to see objects clearly, whether up-close or distant.

  1. Floaters

Many people who experience floater notice tiny spots or specks floating across the field of vision. Usually, they notice these signs and symptoms in well-lit rooms or outdoors on a bright day. While this condition is considered normal, this may also indicate a more serious eye problem such as a retinal detachment, especially if you see light flashes, or any reduction in your field of vision—like a curtain falling over the eye. Again, we strongly advice to seek medical advice as soon as possible if you experience such signs and symptoms.

  1. Dry eyes

This condition usually happens when tear glands cannot make enough tears or produce unhealthy tears. This can be very uncomfortable that can result in inching, burning, or in some cases—loss of vision. Usually, eye experts may require you to use humidifier in your home, special eye drops that stimulate real tears, or plugs that located in tear ducts to decrease tear drainage. For more serious cases, eye experts may require a surgery.

7 Nutritious Foods that are also Good for Your Eyes

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Eating nutritious food can help improve and maintain your eye health. I’m sure everyone knows that carrots are good for the eyes, but there are just so many foods you can eat that can boost your eye health and prevent sight-threatening diseases. Today, we will provide a list of food you can eat to improve your eyesight. Read on and maybe you can choose and prepare your next food to prepare! Have fun!

  1. Fish – Yup, fish, particularly cold-watered ones such as sardines, salmon, tuna, and mackerel are good for your eyes. These contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect against dry eyes, cataracts, and macular degeneration. In case you don’t like seafood, make sure you get a good supply of omega -3s by using fish oil supplements or taking vegetarian supplements that contain flaxseed oil or black currant seeds.

 

  1. Leafy Greens – Leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. They contain plant pigments than can help prevent the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Avocados, peas, and broccoli are also good sources of this powerful antioxidant duo.

 

  1. Eggs – Organic eggs are rich in vitamins and nutrients that are good for your eyes. Eggs are a good source of lutein and vitamin A, which can protect against night blindness and dry eyes. They can certainly promote eye health and function.

 

  1. Whole Grains – Foods that have low glycemic index can reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration. This is why we strongly recommend switching to refined carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole-wheat breads and pasta. The vitamin E, zinc, and niacin found in whole grains can help improve and maintain general eye health.

 

  1. Citrus Fruits and Berries – Citrus fruits like berries, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which can help reduce the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration.

 

  1. Nuts – Yes, you heard it right! Nuts like pistachios, almonds, and walnuts contain omega -3 fatty acids and vitamin E that can help improve your eye health.

 

  1. Colorful Fruits and Veggies – As mentioned above, carrots are good for the eyes. In addition, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, corn, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and strawberries are also good sources of vitamins A and C that can keep your eyes strong and healthy. Colorful fruits and veggies that are rich in carotenoids are also good for the eyes. These can help decrease the risk of many eye problems.

 

Understanding Myopia or Nearsightedness

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Myopia or nearsightedness is the most common refractive eye problem today, and it has become more prevalent in recent years.

According to a recent study conducted by the National Eye Institute or NEI, the prevalence of myopia increased from 30 percent of the country’s population from 25 percent to a whopping 42 percent in 1999- 2005. This includes the population of ages 12 to 54.

While there is no definite cause yet for this increase in nearsightedness among Americans, many eye experts feel it has something to do with today’s lifestyle. As we all know, most people today are more inclined with the latest technology specifically personal computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, widescreen television, and other gadgets. So generally, it has something to do with eye fatigue and other extended near vision tasks, coupled with a genetic predisposition for myopia.

What are the signs and symptoms of Myopia?

If you are in this condition, you may have problems reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly. You may be able to see well for close up objects and other regular tasks such as reading and using the computer. Other signs and symptoms you should look out for include squinting, eye strain, and headaches. Feeling fatigued when playing or sports and driving can also be alarming and could be a sign of uncorrected nearsightedness.

If you noticed the following signs or symptoms above while wearing your corrective glasses or contact lenses, it is advisable to visit an eye specialist for a comprehensive eye examination. They may give you some tips and other stronger prescription.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia usually occurs when the eyeball is too long, which tends to put a stress on the cornea and lens of the eye. As a result, light rays focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. This condition can also be caused by the cornea and lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, it can be a combination of these factors.

Myopia or nearsightedness can occur during childhood stage and you may have a higher risk if your parents or some of your family members are nearsighted. Usually, this condition stabilizes in early adulthood but sometimes continues to progress as you age.

These are some of the things you should know about myopia or nearsightedness. Again, if left untreated, this can go worse. So consult an expert if you notice some signs and symptoms.

 

 

Choosing the Right Eye Glasses

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Remember the good old childhood days when almost everyone wanted to wear reading glasses? Some students even went as far as to fake bad vision during school annual physical checkup. And now, you got a older and actually needed real glasses. With so many styles and designs available today, it could be a little challenging to choose the best one that would fit your need and preference. Yes, wearing reading or eye glasses is now essential, especially when you’re spending most of your time in front of the computer. So, to help you out, here are some points to consider when buying a new pair of eye glasses in the store:

Contrast

Check the shape of the frame. This should contrast the shape of your face. For example, if you have more angular features, go for frames that could soften up and create curved shapes. As for people with round faces, the best option probably is the angular glass-shaped.

Proportion

Of course, the base and frames should always be proportion with the features of your face. It might be a little different when looking for stylish sunglasses, which tend to be larger for greater coverage. Take note that whatever looks good as a sunglass will not necessarily look good in optical. Look for simple designs as much as possible—it’s always substance and functionality over style.

  • Color

Choose the best color that will compliment your features. Usually, glasses that contrast your face and hair tend to stand out more. It’s really up to you on how you carry your style. On the other hand, black is always good for highlighting and outlining your eyes.

  • Face shape

This is where everything gets really complicated. So let’s try to dig deeper into these—for people with heart shaped faces, many enthusiasts recommend aviators or rimless glasses. Aviators are good for neutralizing a broader forehead with a narrower jaw line and a more pointed chin. This is because of the way they highlight the bottom. On the other hand, experts recommend rectangular frames and contrast bridges for people with more rounded faces.

Yes, you can still be hip and stylish while protecting your eyes. Just a friendly reminder to everyone, consult an ophthalmologist or optician to make sure you get the right optical eye-wear. These are just some of the things you should consider when buying eye glasses. Fortunately, there are so many options available in different online stores.

 

How to Protect your Eyes

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If you maintain a 20/20 vision by the age of 30, consider yourself lucky. But then again, everyone should take care of their eyesight because eventually, they may deteriorate. In fact, some type of sight-threatening eye problems affects 1 in 6 adults at age 45 and older. And the risk for vision loss only increases with age.

According to a report made by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), there is an estimate of more than 43 million Americans “may” develop age-related eye problems by 2020. While the leading causes of blindness and low vision in the country are primarily age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, it is only advisable to protect your eyesight as early as you can. Take note that your eyesight is a big part of your health and wellness.

Tips for Protecting Your Eyes

So, let us now discuss how you can protect your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy as you age. Here are some tips you should follow as per experts:

  1. First, you need to identify if you are at higher risk for eye problems. Find out your family’s history. Do you or any of your family members suffer from diabetes or have a history of high blood pressure? What is your age? Are you in the range of 30s or 40s? Any of these traits can increase your risk for sight threatening eye diseases. Regular eye tests are also important, because early diagnosis can limit any vision loss and help preserve your eye sight. As they say, “prevention is always better than cure”.

 

  1. As mentioned above, regular physical exams, especially for those who have history of diabetes and high blood pressure are essential. If left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems in time. Particularly, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and eye strokes.

 

  1. Look for warning signs or symptoms in your vision. If you start noticing changes in your vision, it is only recommended to consult your specialist right away. Pay attention to double vision, hazy vision, and difficulty seeing in low light conditions. Other signs and symptoms of potentially eye problems that require immediate attention include red eyes, reading difficulties, frequent flashes of light, floaters, eye pain, and swelling.

 

  1. Healthy lifestyle and regular exercise should always be on top of your list. According to the AAO, many eye experts suggest that regular exercise like walking or jogging can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 65-70 percent. You should also adjust your reading and study habits. Make sure there is enough light and improve your posture.