Everyday Steps for Sun Protection Safety

Eye SafetyContrary to popular belief, sun damage to your eyes doesn’t occur only during the summer—especially for those living in Arizona. Extended exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (UV Rays) throughout the year can lead to eye health conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, ptergia and photokeratitis—also known as sunburn of the cornea—which can lead to temporary blindness. Don’t risk your eye health, follow these eye safety tips to protect your sight from sun damage.

Add Vitamin C and other Antioxidants to your diet

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that can help lower the risk of developing eye health conditions such as cataracts, and slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration. In addition, having normal blood plasma levels of Vitamin C and other antioxidants can help reduce the risk of retinal damage from High-Energy Visible Radiation (also known as “blue light”), which can lead to an increase in one’s long-term risk of macular degeneration.

Wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV Rays

Many people do not realize that, just like skin, your eyes can get sunburned from extended ultraviolet radiation exposure—and it is very painful. Anyone who spends time outdoors is at risk of sun eye damage, which is why you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from radiation from the sun. When buying sunglasses, stay away from the dollar store. Always look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV Rays, absorb most HEV Rays, and frames that wrap around the head and are close-fitting. These offer the best sun protection eye safety because they limit the amount of sunlight that reaches your eyes.

For more information about eye safety, our selection of sunglasses with UV and HEV protection, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses

Sunglasses provide much-needed protection for your eyes. Your optometrist has most likely suggested the use of them in your everyday life, not just when you’re at the pool during the summer. But what is the importance of wearing sunglasses year-round? Take a look at these four benefits to learn why your optometrist suggests the use of sunglasses.

Protection From the SunOptometrist

The most obvious benefit of wearing sunglasses is the protection they provide from the sun’s dangerous rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the sun can damage your eyes in more ways than one. Cancers of the eyelid make up about five to 10 percent of all skin cancers, and can lead to serious eye damage and face disfigurement. In addition to eyelid cancers, extended exposure to the sun can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration.

Reduced Dry-Eye Problems

People who suffer from dry-eye syndrome often experience an increase in symptoms while in dry, windy climates. The environment can have a negative effect on your eyes due to weather, debris, and dust. Unfortunately, these elements are present year-round, not just during the summer. Sunglasses protect your eyes from things like wind and debris all year round.

Less Glare While Driving

Wearing sunglasses while driving not only helps you feel more comfortable, but it also keeps you and your passengers safe. The sun’s glare increases your risk of getting into a car accident, which is why wearing sunglasses while driving is crucial to your safety – and to the safety of others on the road. If such a simple thing can prevent a collision, why would you avoid it?

Reduced Eye Strain

Squinting because of the sun is detrimental to your eyesight, but your optometrist probably hasn’t told you that it’s also damaging to your appearance. Prolonged squinting causes wrinkles on the sensitive skin around your eyes. And while there are products to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, there is no way to reverse the damage. So if you’re not concerned about the health of your eyes, perhaps looking younger longer will encourage you to wear sunglasses.

Wearing sunglasses all year is crucial to your eye health and prevents serious conditions. To learn about more ways to protect your eyes, talk to an experienced optometrist. Schedule an eye exam today to get started on your journey toward improved eye health.

How Can I Protect My Eyes In The Winter?

Eye CareSummer might seem to be a more obvious time for eye injuries, but winter is no time to disregard your eye care and safety. Bright conditions and wintertime activities can be just as hazardous to your precious peepers. Fortunately, most eye injuries are preventable.

Sunglasses All Year

The brightness of the sun glancing off of snow or water isn’t just annoying, it’s detrimental to your eye health. UV rays are present all year round, and the reflection of the sun off of those surfaces means double the chance for UV rays to find your eyes. Wearing the right UV-blocking and polarized sunglasses will protect your vulnerable eyes from conditions such as skin cancer and cataracts. Sunglasses are also a benefit in windy conditions that typically make your eyes water and burn.

The Right Sporting Goods

The best piece of sports equipment you can invest in is a proper pair of protective glasses or goggles for your sport. If you’re planning on snowboarding or skiing this winter, make sure to buy goggles that fit your face and protect your eyes. Today’s protective equipment is light and far more stylish than in the past, plus you can often kill two birds with one stone and get a pair that is UV-blocking and polarized. You’ll protect your eyes from the elements, plus see everything crisply during play.

Dry Eyes

When you participate in wintertime activities, the colder temperatures and windy conditions can make your eyes feel gritty and dry. Keeping your eyes as moist as possible will improve your comfort, and prevent your vision from becoming blurry or obscured. Ask your optometrist about moisturizing drops, wear sunglasses outside and make sure you give your eyes an occasional break from the winter weather.

Your eye care is something you should think about at all times of the year, but winter brings its own form of eye care problems. Talk to your optometrist for suggestions on wintertime eyewear and other methods to defend your sight this season!


4 Reasons to Invest in Prescription Sunglasses

Phoenix_SunglassesPhoenix eye doctors agree:  If you need lenses and aren’t using prescription sunglasses, you may be risking your eyes – or worse.

Given how expensive glasses and contacts can be, some people don’t want to spend the money for prescription sunglasses as well.  However, prescription sunglasses offer many benefits that make them worth the money.

Four Reasons Prescription Sunglasses Are A Good Idea

1 – Direct eye protection.

Unlike the cheap sunglasses sold in retail stores, a prescription pair of sunglasses from qualified eye doctors will be polarized, UV treated, and have the possibility to change tinting based on light levels. Unlike other eyewear, prescription sunglasses guarantee the protection your eyes need.

2 – Improved driving.

Glare is a problem when driving in the best of times, but it can be enhanced by contacts or glasses.  This is especially true if your glasses are smudged and refracting the sunlight further. Prescription sunglasses cut through the glare and provide a safer drive for lens-wearers.

3 – They go where contacts can’t.

Contact wearers know there are situations where they probably should not be wearing contacts.  For example, when going to the beach: The grit of the sand can work its way behind contact lenses, scratching your lens and cornea, leading to infection. Wearing prescription sunglasses to the beach is a much safer option for protecting your eyes.

4 – Safer sporting.

Sunglasses, or even treated sports goggles, are the preferred option for sports.  Prescription sunglasses and goggles bringing improved visibility while protecting your eyes.

Protect Your Eyes With Prescription Sunglasses

If you need corrective lenses, prescription sunglasses are a smart investment.  They improve your vision in bright daylight, while providing a wealth of eye health benefits.

If you’re still using untreated lenses, consider contacting your local eye doctors for a sunglasses appointment.

Summer is Around the Corner! Prepare Your Eyes

Have you talked to your Phoenix optometrist about protecting your eyes during the sunny Arizona summer?

Many people don’t think about it, but summer poses particular challenges to eye health. The increased rays from the sun can also cause increased eye damage. For the best long-term vision, you should be protecting your eyes – and those of your children! – whenever going out into the hot summer sun.

We have some tips for summertime vision protection that any optometrist would agree with.

Phoenix_OptometristProtecting Sensitive Eyes In The Summertime

1 – Wear UV-protective sunglasses.

Many don’t realize this, but your eyeballs can get also sunburned from too much UV exposure – and it hurts. Worse, increased UV exposure early in life has been linked to an increased chance of cataracts in later years.

Don’t just buy Dollar Store sunglasses. Spend the extra money for UV protection.

2 – Use sunscreen on your face.

Here’s something many people don’t think about: your face is a somewhat reflective surface, and extra UV bouncing off your skin will end up hitting your eyes. Good sunscreen on your face, especially on your cheeks and around your eyes, will stop reflected UV from damaging your eyes.

3 – Beware poison oak and ivy.

The oil from these “poison” vines is well-known for causing a lot of pain and itching. If you or little ones come into contact with poison vines, don’t just wash the skin; immediately wash the clothes as well. Poison vine oil on a shirt can easily transfer to someone’s face or eyes, making for a highly uncomfortable couple days.

4 – Always wear sports goggles.

Sports-related injuries are the #1 non-natural source of eye damage, and they’re almost entirely avoidable. Sports goggles are a must-have when playing any summer sports involving any physical contact or, especially, anything involving sticks or flying objects. A direct hit from a baseball or basketball can be devastating to an unprotected eye.

You only get one pair of eyes, so protect them in the summer! Or, if you have questions about summer eye safety, contact your Phoenix optometrist for more information.

3 Ways to Protect your Eyes this Winter

You might think of summertime as coming with a more obvious chance of incurring eye injuries, but the truth is that winter comes with a significant set of eye safety risks as well. How can you enjoy wintertime fun without hazard to your vision?

Eye_ProtectionSports Protection

During the winter, there is  much fun to be had, whether you are a snow sport enthusiast, or opt for beach sports in a warmer climate. Either way, be sure to purchase and wear the appropriate eye safety gear, such as goggles for skiing, swimming or snowmobiling, protective eyewear for football and volleyball, or safety glasses for any sport that involves flying projectiles.


While it may seem counter-intuitive to worry about the sun during the winter, the fact is that damaging UV rays are still present this time of year, plus snow and water are highly reflective and multiply the effects of those rays. Be sure to wear sunglasses that are rated as UV blocking for the best protection possible, and have them on anytime you are outside during daylight. Doing this will help protect you against future problems like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, plus prevent a very painful condition called Photokeratitis, which is basically a sunburn of the eye.

Be Aware

Winter is a great time to enjoy activities with family and friends. No matter what sports or pastimes you enjoy, it is so important to pay attention to your surroundings. A brief moment where you are distracted and not completely engaged in what is occurring around you can mean an eye safety tragedy, or worse. Accidents happen in less than the blink of an eye and can leave you visually impaired for life. This risk increases when you are involved in winter sports so stay alert.

Get out this winter and enjoy time with loved ones doing the things you enjoy. Use some caution and add some eye safety protection to your fun so that it can continue for many more years to come.

Tips on Selecting Women’s Sunglasses

Sunglasses serve a crucial function in protecting your eyes from glare, ultraviolet radiation, and eye strain, but also are a staple in women’s fashion. Living in Phoenix, sunglasses are crucial at every age. With so many different types of gorgeous shades out there, how do you pick the perfect pair?

Protection First

Before delving into the pretty factor of sunglasses, get the essentials handled first. Your glasses should be UV-blocking, polarized lenses. These will protect you from harmful radiation that cause optometry conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Polarization helps you see crisply and cleanly in intense sun, and even into water if you are a lady who loves water sports. The slightly added cost of UV-blocking polarized lenses is well worth the protection you’ll have.

Face Shape

The frame style you choose in your next fabulous sunglasses should enhance the shape of your face. Some frame styles are not becoming on certain faces, and some may be neutral enough to go with many shapes. Face categories include oval, round, heart-shaped, diamond, triangle, or square shapes. Oval faces may look fantastic in just about any style frame, while optometry patients with round faces may have less options and opt for angular frames.

Frame Color

There are a few factors to think about when you start selecting the color frame you want in your beautiful new sunglasses. Many women have multiple pairs to complete different outfits. Black and silver frames, or brown and gold frames are a great basics to have, but feel free to go as wild as you like. Animal prints, bright colors, subtle frames, and wire rims are just a few possibilities to think about.

Sunglasses come in every color of the rainbow and can match any mood or outfit. Make sure the pair you select protect you, and after that the sky is the limit!

4 Health Benefits when Wearing Polarized Lenses

While eye doctors everywhere recommend wearing sunglasses all year round to protect your eye health, you may wonder which kind to wear. Polarized lenses offer many advantages over their non-polarized counterparts, and should be a serious consideration when making this purchase.

How They Work
Polarized lenses block light rays that would normally enter your eyes after reflecting off of surfaces. The light that enters your eye after passing through a polarized lens has been filtered, allowing the wearer to see in a different way.

Health Benefits
1. Reduce Glare, Improve Safety
On a sunny day, you may notice that objects in the distance appear hazy, or nearby vehicles are reflecting light in a way that is nearly blinding. A polarized lens removes the effects of glare by blocking reflections. This improves eye comfort and allows you to take in the view without squinting. Roadways and water sources are major culprits of glare, and can cause danger to drivers who may already struggle with vision issues. Glare can create a very uncomfortable eye health issue for people with sensitive eyes, and even cause a migraine in patients who are prone to developing them.

2. Water Sports
You may notice that outdoor enthusiasts such as fishermen and boaters love polarized sunglasses. The special material makes it easier to see into the water. Without polarized lenses, the water’s surface simply reflects everything around it. This obscures view into the water almost completely. Polarized lenses block this reflection and enable the wearer to see the contents of the water instead of the sky.

3. Reduce Eyestrain
Another nasty side effective of glare, eyestrain can be relieved with polarized lens wear. Squinting to see clear images stresses the eyes and creates uncomfortable eye health issues like redness, irritation, fatigue, and headaches. Polarized lenses neutralize this issue and allow eyes to feel more comfortable and well rested.

4. Better Vision
Wearing polarized lenses can reveal colors and images like never before.  You will see crisply and cleanly, with a level of detail that may astound you.

There are a few circumstances where polarized lenses are not appropriate, such as night driving, flying an airplane, downhill skiing, and viewing LCD screens. The majority of the population will find polarized lenses immensely helpful in improving the clarity and quality of their daytime vision. Ask your eye health provider if polarized lenses are right for you.

5 Ways to Preserve my Eyesight

Your vision is a precious commodity that cannot be replaced once it has been lost. Caring for your eyes properly can go a long way to sustain your eye health, and eye doctors recommend the following best practices.

Annual Eye Exams

The absolute best tactic in maintaining good eyesight is to have a yearly eye exam. Eye doctors are able to identify issues in their early stages and create a plan to prevent progression. This may literally mean the difference between healthy sight and blindness.

Wear Shades

Even during winter, UV rays are everywhere. UV-blocking sunglasses should be a part of your wardrobe worn every day to prevent major vision woes like painful corneal sunburn, cataracts and macular degeneration. As an added bonus, sunglasses minimize squinting and deter eye wrinkles resulting from sun damage.

Health & Wellness

You’ve heard it all before: exercise, eat right, quit smoking. Those great lifestyle choices also help your eyesight.  Caring for your general health translates to fitness and minimizes your chances of developing diabetes and suffering blindness. Smoking decreases your circulation and puts you at risk for optic nerve damage, cataracts and macular degeneration. Eating foods rich in antioxidants nurtures your eyesight and aids in preventing many age-related vision maladies.

Protect your Eyes

One of the easiest ways to prevent eye injuries and related vision loss is by using the proper protection when performing work. Working with power tools, heavy equipment, or around automobiles means exposure to flying objects, dust, debris, and risk. Make a sensible choice to put on proper safety glasses. Choosing not to wear them can have tragic consequences that are easily avoidable. Set an example and also teach children safe work practices!

Look Away

Working on computers all day can leave you with miserable eyes and a wretched headache. Eye doctors commonly treat patients suffering from eye strain due to their screen-intensive lifestyles. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops may squeeze more work into life, but they wreak havoc on your eye health. Get plenty of sleep, and use the 20-20-20 method: For every 20 minutes of screen work, take 20 seconds to look 20 feet away. Your eyes will feel rested and healthy, and you’ll actually get more done.

The choices you make in other parts of your life often have a great impact on your eye health. Consult your eye doctor today to discuss eye care strategies that fit your lifestyle.

Protect your Eyes During Baseball & Softball Season

Sports season is around the corner and with it comes a list of threats to your eye safety. For those who play baseball or softball, this can be the time of year when you meet with factors that can change your life by robbing you of your sight.

Sun and UV Damage

Long hours of practice and game days mean plenty of time spent outdoors in the sun. Your eyes are very vulnerable to the effects of ultraviolet (UV) light and need protection. Always wear a hat with a brim to shade your eyes from overhead sun, and wear UV-blocking sunglasses even on cloudy days. Overcast weather may not seem hazardous, but UV light is prevalent even in those conditions. UV light causes not only skin cancer around your eye, but a number of other very serious conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts, which may result in loss of vision.

Wind and Dust

Not only is the sun a hazard while participating in outdoor sports, but wind and dust also cause major discomfort to your eyes. Your eyes easily lose their natural moisture when exposed to these factors, resulting in dry, red, painful eyes. The suffering of contact lens wearers is amplified and debris adhered to contacts may cause scratches to the surface of your eye. Wearing sunglasses provides a buffer to wind and blowing dust, reducing discomfort and allowing your eyes to remain lubricated and content. Contact lens wearers should be careful to clean lenses thoroughly after outdoor activities to protect their eye safety.

Flying Objects

Baseball and softball are great sports for players at all levels. Since so many types of players are involved, there is a significant risk of your team mates and competitors having less than perfect accuracy when pitching, hitting, or throwing the ball. On bright days, it’s easy to lose track of a pitch that has been hit high into the air. One misfired ball or a ball lost in the sun later and you could be permanently blinded. For these reasons, your focus on eye safety should prompt you to purchase eye guards or protective eyewear to prevent devastating injuries to your eyes.

Outdoor sports, especially baseball and softball, are a fantastic way to be active and social but do come with some risks. Consult your Phoenix Eyecare professional about the right steps to take to ensure your eye safety for many seasons.