How to Choose Sunglasses the Right Way

Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement.  They should be used to help protect your eyes from the sun and its harmful UV rays.  However, it might not be that easy to know how to go about picking the right sunglasses for you.  There are a number of factors when considering how to choose sunglasses.

Here are the top five tips on how to choose sunglasses the right way.

  1. UV PROTECTION

    First and foremost, you should look at whether the sunglasses have any and enough UV protection.  The sun gives off radiation from its ultra violet rays that you will never feel or see.  The damage that both UVA and UVB rays can cause to your skin and your eyes can be significant, especially over your lifetime.  In fact, too much exposure to UV light has been shown to cause cataracts and will destroy the retina.  The sunglasses that you choose should protect your eyes somewhere between 99 and 100% of the sun’s UV rays.

  2. DARK ENOUGH LENS

    It is important that you understand that the darker the lens are, it doesn’t mean that there’s greater protection from UV rays.  However, despite this, the darker the lens are, the better the sunglasses will be at protecting your pupils.  Your pupil controls how much light gets into the eye.  What this means is that the darker your lens are, the better protection for your eyes because your pupils will not open up and let as much light in as it would if the lens were lighter.  Thinking about UV protection and the darkness of the lens, you might be realizing that some of the sunglasses you own or have worn in the past might have offered very little to no protection, which can be extremely damaging to your eyes!

  3. TYPE OF LENS

    The type of lens that you have is an important factor when considering how to choose sunglasses.  Are the lenses made from glass or plastic?  Are they curved or straight?  Sunglasses are on your face, right near your eyes, so it is important to find sunglasses with lenses that are safe and that do not distort your vision.  If you require corrective lenses, you may wish to make sure that you get sunglasses with lens that can help you with your vision (particularly in the event that you might not want or wish to wear contacts).

  4. MAKE SURE THEY FIT WELL

    This might sound like common sense, but many people will opt for sunglasses that don’t fit properly, simply for a look they are going for.  It is important to make sure that your sunglasses fit properly to avoid letting in any UV rays in or near your eye.  It should fit snug to the face.  Not so close that it’s touching your eyelashes, but it should not be pushed too far away either.  It is also helpful to get sunglasses that line up to your eyebrows.  There are also sunglasses that wrap around your face, which can help block out any UV light from the side.

  5. POLARIZED LENSES

    If you are out at the beach, in large bodies of water, or like to spend time in the snow, then finding sunglasses with polarized lenses are a must for you.  Polarized lenses are used to help reduce the glare from these environmental factors.  However, it is not to be confused or mistaken for UV protection.  Polarized lenses will allow you to see better when there’s a lot of light and glare around you.

    In conclusion, we hope that the above tips will help you pick out the next pair of sunglasses that are just right for you.  You are only given one set of eyes in your lifetime – – it’s imperative that you make sure that you take the time to do your best to protect them.

    One last final tip to take into consideration.  While deciding how to choose sunglasses, it is important that you consider all of the above factors, read the labels, ask questions, and make an educated decision when picking out your sunglasses.  A lower price does not necessarily mean lower quality, the same way a higher price does not mean the best quality!  So, be on the lookout for what’s going to fit and protect you the most! Contact Advanced Eye Medical today to be on your way to clearer vision.

     

 

Top Causes of Blindness

There are several causes of blindness but the leading causes include ocular complications of diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and traumatic injuries. Other causes of blindness include vitamin A deficiency, retinopathy of prematurity, blood vessel diseases involving the retina or optic nerve including stroke, infectious diseases of the cornea or retina, retinitis pigmentosa, primary or secondary malignancies of the eye, congenital abnormalities, and hereditary diseases of the eye.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when clouding occurs in the lens of the eye. This interferes with light reaching the retina, potentially causing blurry vision and other vision problems. The mechanics are explained below.

The lens is the clearer part of the eye that’s located behind the iris and pupil. It helps focus light onto the retina, which allows us to see clearly. The retina then converts light to electrical signals for the brain to decode into images. When a cataract begins to form and the lens is no longer clear, visual disturbances occur.

Common symptoms are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors that seem faded
  • Glare
  • Not being able to see well at night
  • Double vision
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eye wear

<h2> Glaucoma <h2>

Glaucoma usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises, damaging the optic nerve. There are no symptoms at first, but a comprehensive eye exam can detect it.

People at risk of glaucoma should get eye exams at least every two years, especially among African Americans and Hispanics over age 40, people over age 60 and people with a family history of glaucoma.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of blindness. It is a disease that destroys the sharp, central vision needed to see objects clearly. This affects the ability to read, drive, watch television, and perform daily routine tasks.

AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It does not hurt, but causes cells in the macula to die. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice minimal changes in vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to blindness in both eyes.

There are two kinds of AMD – wet and dry. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down.

What Can You Do

Small preventative measures, like wearing sunglasses and eating greens, can help protect your eyesight and prevent vision problems later in life. Here is a list of five eye care tips that will help you protect your eyes and your vision for years to come.

Eat for Your Eyes

Eye health starts with a good diet. It’s not just carrots that help your eye sight — dark green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and dark-colored berries all contain essential nutrients and antioxidants that will do wonders for your eyes. Vitamin A, for example, is commonly found in bright yellow and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Fruits like strawberries, oranges and mangoes provide vitamin C and other antioxidants, which also help fight eye disease. Salmon and other cold-water fish are also high in omega 3s — good for tear production, which relieves dry eyes.

Get Regular Eye Exams

It’s important to get regular checkups to catch any eye problems such as glaucoma or diabetic eye disease.

Apply the 20:20:20 Rule

Another tip for computer or any digital-screen users. Rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise encourages the eyes to relax the muscles inside the eye to reduce fatigue. Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds then gaze at something up; close for 10 to 15 seconds. Do these 10 times. This exercise will help reduce the risk of your eyes locking up after prolonged computer use.

Protect Your Eyes

Remember to always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays when you’re outdoors during the daytime. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye disorders.

Don’t Smoke

The many dangers of smoking have been well documented, especially when it comes to eye health. Smokers or people highly exposed to second hand smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, uveitis and other eye problems.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have further questions regarding the causes of blindness, do not hesitate to join us at Laser for Eyes for an expert consultation on our services. We will discuss and review your options to help you find the perfect fit for you. Schedule a consultation with us today, and join our many satisfied patients.

 

 

How Do Mirages Work?

When we hear about a mirage, our minds picture an image of a dehydrated individual stumbling through the desert and thirsting for water. In their delusion, they see what looks like a section of water in the vast sand. When they finally muster up their last reserves of energy climbing towards that vision, they are crushed to find only more sand ahead of them. Why is this and what is it attributed to? When you see a mirage, you are actually seeing a reflection of the sky on the ground. But how to mirages work?

How Does Light Travel Through Air?

To understand how a mirage forms, we must first understand how light travels through air. Light travels in a straight line when the air is the same temperature – a constant of cold or hot. If a steady variation in temperature exists, however, light will refract and therefore bend towards the cooler air.

The explanation for this phenomenon is that cold air is denser than war air, and therefore has a higher refractive index. This means that light will bend more easily as it passes through a medium with higher index. Because the particles of light bump into more matter, it slows down and bends. As light passes from hot air to cold air, the light bends towards a line perpendicular to the medium boundary.  Similarly, when light travels from cold air to hot air, the light bends away from this line.

What’s the Connection to Mirages?

So, how do mirages work? And how does this make use see a reflection of the sky, as mentioned above? A mirage has everything to do with refraction. Normally, light waves from the sun travel straight through the atmosphere to your eye. But, light travels at different speeds through hot air and cold air.

When we see a mirage, the ground is typically very hot and the air is cool. The hot ground warms a layer of air just above the ground.

When the light moves through the cold air and into the layer of hot air it is refracted. A layer of very warm air the ground refracts the light from the sky into a U-shaped bend, tricking our brain to think that the light has travelled in a straight line.

Our brain, however, doesn’t see the image as bent light from the sky. Instead, our brain processes the imagery and thinks the light must have come from the ground.

Combining all this together, refracted light from the sky is interpreted a straight, which makes us see an image of the sky on the ground. This is also why many mirages appear as blue water. We think we have stumbled on a section of water when in reality we are seeing a reflective image of the blue sky.

Let Us Help

For a consultation towards clear vision, or to clear up any questions you may have, contact Laser for Eyes today. We are standing by to answer any of your concerns, and to help you get your vision back to where you want it. Join our growing family of happy customers who trust us with their eyes.

 

 

Avoid These Bad Eye Habits

Your eyes are an important part of your body that you need in order to function every single day. If you were to lose your eyesight, just think about how different your life would be than it is today. Big things like your job or driving, but also everyday things, like getting up and around your house, or taking a walk outside with your dog. Bad eye habits can be more damaging than you think.

It’s extremely important to take care of your vision—and the sooner, the better. You may not be aware of some of the most common unhealthy habits people have that can affect the long-term health of your eyes.

Reading in Poor Lighting – Reading in poor lighting can cause a lot of strain on your eyes. Similarly, staring at your smartphone and reading tiny text for extended period of times is one of the most common bad eye habits and can also cause a great deal of strain on your eyes.

Sleeping with Your Contacts – If you’re sleeping with your contacts in, it’s time to stop this bad eye habit. You are not only at risk of infection, but you can also permanently damage your eyes. Further, outside of sleeping, wearing your contacts for extended period of time anywhere can cause a plethora of problems, so take your contacts out and let your eyes take a break whenever you can. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one million people in the U.S. have gone to the eye doctor to treat infections from wearing contacts.

Using Cheap or Expired Eye Makeup – Think about all of the things that you apply near your eyes—mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, eyelashes, creams, and more. Anytime you put products near your eyes, you risk certain infections or damage to your eyes. This risk is even greater when you use products that are cheap or expired. Further, sharing eye makeup with others is also a potential risk for increased infection or damage to your eyes. It’s recommended that you replace your eye makeup products after 3 months.

Not Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun – Everyone knows that the sun can cause a great deal of damage to your body. It’s why so many people lather up in sunscreen when they go outside for extended period of times. This is why it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun. First, you should never look directly at the sun for any reason. Grabbing a hat or sunglasses (particularly sunglasses with UV protection) will help to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Swimming Without Goggles – If you’re going to out at the pool, make sure that you grab a set of goggles. There are a lot of chemicals and unknowns often found in pools, so it’s important that you protect your eyes by swimming with goggles.

Rubbing Your Eyes – Your eyes are itchy, so what do you do? The immediate response is to rub your eyes, but what you are forgetting is that your hands and fingers contain countless germs and by rubbing your eyes, you risk causing an eye infection. Further, rubbing your eyes vigorously or frequently can scratch and damage the surface of the eye.

Smoking and Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke –The chemicals found in cigarette smoke can cause macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss, as well as damage the eye tissue.

Not Seeing Your Eye Doctor – Last, but certainly not least, not seeing your optometrist to regularly check your eyes is a recipe for disaster. It’s not just for your vision, but it’s also a way for your doctor to check for any other eye diseases or problems.

So, how did you do? You might not be guilty of all of these bad eye habits, but you can certainly see how doing a few of these habits over time can add up to a lot of strain and risk of damage to your eyes. Take some time to put together an action plan on how to better care for your eyes today! For any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact Advanced Eye Medical today to ensure crystal clear vision. Your eyes will thank you!

Does Reading in the Dark Hurt Your Eyes?

As a child, we all heard it one too many times, “Reading in the dark will hurt your eyes.” But how much of this is true? Is reading in the dark really bad for your eyes?

Reading in the dark won’t cause permanent damage to your eyes, but it can lead to headaches and eye strain. Whether you’re reading a paperback book, a tablet or mobile smartphone, you should understand how reading with proper lighting helps avoid eye strain.

Adjusting Your Workspace to Reduce Eye Strain

The best way to benefit from the light level and positioning of lighting for a comfortable read with minimal eye strain is to choose a relatively bright light that comes over the shoulder rather than in front of you or right above your head. One such example is a goose neck lamp, which provides adequate lighting levels without the glare of a light that is right in your face.

To properly adjust your workspace to reduce eye strain, here are some tips:

  • Reduce interior lighting- Most offices have harsh interior lighting that can contribute to eyestrain. If possible, use fewer light bulbs and fluorescent tubes.
  • Minimize glare- If there is a window directly in front or behind you, the glare and reflection on your computer screen increases eye strain. You can move or adjust your workstation, close the blinds or get an anti-reflective coating on your glasses to reduce glare.
  • Adjust screen brightness- The blue light from the computer also contributes to eye strain. Adjust the brightness of your screen so it’s approximately the same as your surrounding workstation can help.

Improve the Lighting in Your Home

While reading in the dark won’t do any long-term damage, it can give you a nasty headache and cause eye strain. Reduce the labor on your eyes by taking advantage of task lighting around your home. Task lighting can help reduce your risk of eye strain when you’re doing near-work for longer amounts of time. Consider using:

  • Desk lamps
  • Reading lamps
  • Under-cabinet lighting

Task lighting also refers to any artificial light that increases illumination for activities such as reading. Using a desk lamp with a bendable neck can help you read more comfortably as it will allow you to angle the light to exactly where you need it while reducing any glare.

Task lighting should be 100-watts for lamps but if it feels uncomfortable to you, ask your doctor what might work better.

How to Choose Brightness of Reading Area?

Whether it is at home or workplace, many people have switched from reading physical books to reading on digital devices. This includes academic textbooks and work manuals. It’s important to be mindful of the brightness of a digital screen versus the lighting of the area you’re reading in. A good rule of thumb is the lighting of the area you’re reading in should be as bright as or brighter than the light on your digital device.

Avoid reading in dark rooms because it can cause eye discomfort and that can lead to a lower concentration and disorientation. This causes your eyes to work constantly, adjusting between the brightness of the screen and the dimly lit surroundings. Also, avoid reading in harsh lights like florescent lighting because some people suffer from migraines and this problem can worsen over time.

What About LED Lighting?

LED lighting is becoming more popular because they last longer than conventional lights and many people use them as reading lamps for their homes or workspace. They come in different strengths so you will need to find out which strength works best for you. LED lights may also gradually fade over time so you’ll need to replace the batteries when the light starts to grow dimmer, to avoid eye strain.

Schedule a Consultation

Join us at Advanced Eye Medical for an expert consultation on our services. We will discuss and review your options to help you find the perfect fit for you. Schedule a consultation with us today, and join our many satisfied patients.

 

 

Burst Blood Vessel in the Eye: How Serious is it?

A burst blood vessel in the eye, otherwise known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, is when a tiny blood vessel just underneath the clear surface of your eye breaks.  The blood gets trapped because it can’t be absorbed quickly.  Sometimes you will not even know that this has happened until you look in a mirror and see that the white part of your eye is bright red.

A strong sneeze or cough could cause a blood vessel to break in the eye and though it may worry you, it is not something that requires treatment.  A burst blood vessel in the eyes is usually harmless and clears up on its own within a couple of weeks.

Symptoms

If you notice a bright red patch on the white of your eye it is an obvious sign of a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

This condition should not cause a change in your vision.  There should not be any discharge and there should be no pain associated with it.  You may experience a scratchy feeling on the surface of your eye which may be a little uncomfortable. If the condition is recurrent or does not seem to clear up on its own, talk to your doctor about the issue.

Causes

Sometimes the cause of a subconjunctival hemorrhage is not known.  The following may cause it to happen:

  • A powerful cough
  • A large sneeze
  • Straining
  • Vomiting

It could also be caused from an eye injury, such as:

  • Rubbing the eye too vigorously
  • Trauma, such as a foreign object in your eye

Risk Factors

Some pre-existing conditions may be risk factors with subconjunctival hemorrhage:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Some blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin and aspirin
  • Blood clotting disorders

There are not often any complications from a burst blood vessel in the eye.  If it occurred due to trauma you will want your doctor to evaluate your eye to ensure there is not further injury.

Diagnosis

A doctor will usually be able to diagnose a subconjunctival hemorrhage just by looking at your eye.  It is not likely that any tests will need to be done.  However, if it is a reoccurring occurrence you doctor may also:

  • Ask about any other symptoms and your general health
  • Conduct an eye exam
  • Take your blood pressure
  • Perform a blood test to make sure you do not have a bleeding disorder

Though it will eventually disappear on its own, you may want to treat it with eye drops to help alleviate the discomfort of the scratchy feeling.

Preparing for an Appointment

You will probably see your primary care doctor but he may refer you to an eye doctor. To prepare, make a list of any symptoms that you are experiencing, even if it does not seem related.  Jot down personal information that may be relevant.  Include and major life changes or stresses you are experiencing. Make notes of any medication, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking. Also be prepared with a list of questions for your doctor if you have any.  If you write them down, you will not forget to ask them.

Prevention

If the cause is identifiable and it is something you can avoid, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce the risk.  If you have a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medications, he may be able to offer some advice.

If it has been caused by rubbing your eyes you can try to reduce the risk by rubbing your eyes gently if you need to rub them.  If you are too rough you can cause minor trauma to the eye resulting in a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

For further information, or if you are experiencing the condition and wish to book a consultation, you can contact Advanced Eye Medical in the Orange County area