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.

Sunglasses

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.

 

Why Wear Sunglasses Year Round?

Sunglasses are an obvious choice during bright summer months, but what you may not know is why you should wear them all year. Ultraviolet (UV) light is present no matter the time of year, and eye care professionals recommend wearing UV-blocking sunglasses every day for a number of reasons.

Cataracts
A normal part of the aging process makes it likely that you will develop cataracts in your lifetime. A cataract occurs when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy and opaque over time, obscuring your vision. Cataracts usually require surgery to correct. UV light is a direct contributor to cataract formation. Select sunglasses that are labeled “UV 400″ or “100% UV Protection” for the ultimate protection.

Macular Degeneration
One of the parts of your eye is called the macula, and is the portion responsible for processing the central image. In Macular Degeneration, deposits have built up on the macula and your vision declines, possibly resulting in blindness. Blue and Violet colors of the light spectrum can exacerbate the development of Macular Degeneration, but can be blocked by the right sunglasses.

Sunburned Eyes
Though you may envision summer sunshine as being hazardous, winter can be worse. Snow reflects even minimal sunlight, plus UV rays. This causes sunburn on your eyelids or on the delicate surface of your eye, a condition called Photokeratitis. In the shorter days of winter, eye care professionals frequently treat patients in extreme pain from this issue. Skin cancer around the eyes is another possibility, easily prevented by wearing sunglasses.

Dry Eyes
Winter’s onslaught of wind, rain, and snow can really dry out your eyes. The effects of wintry conditions may cause redness, burning, and excessive watering, compromising your vision. Sunglasses protect against weather, helping your eyes retain their moisture.

Snow & Sun Blindness
As mentioned above, snow reflects sunlight and amplifies the surrounding brightness. On a sunny day of winter sports, you would be battling against the sun as it strikes you from the sky, and again as it bounces up from the snow. If participating in activities such as skiing or snowboarding, the ideal protection would be UV-blocking sports goggles.

Your eyes benefit from wearing sunglasses at all times of the year. Protect your vision and ensure your eye comfort by obtaining a UV blocking pair and wearing them consistently. Consult your eye care provider for help choosing the right types of sunglasses for your activities.

Protective Sports Eyewear

Today, sports eyewear can be spotted on almost anyone who picks up a ball, bat, racquet or stick — whether they play in the major leagues or the Little League. Fortunately, coaches, parents and players now realize that wearing protective eyewear for sports pays off in several ways. The risk of eye damage is reduced or eliminated, and the player’s performance is enhanced by the fact that they see well. In fact, many clubs today do not permit their members to participate without wearing proper eye gear.

Initially, there was some resistance by children to “looking funny” when they wore protective eyewear. Today, sports goggles are an accepted part of everyday life, much the way bike helmets have become the norm. In addition, both children and adults like the image that wearing protective eyewear gives them: it shows they mean business on the playing field.

If you’re not wearing protective eyewear, consider this…

Prevent Blindness America reports that hospital emergency rooms treat 40,000 eye injuries every year that are sports-related. Sports such as racquetball, tennis and badminton may seem relatively harmless, but they involve objects moving at 60 miles per hour or faster. During a typical game, a racquetball can travel between 60 and 200 miles per hour. Another potential danger is that the racquets themselves move at high speed in a confined space and often make contact with one another.

Flying objects aren’t the only hazard. Many eye injuries come from pokes and jabs by fingers and elbows, particularly in games where players are in close contact with each other. Basketball, for example, has an extremely high rate of eye injury.

These are great reasons to wear protective eyewear. Another aspect has to do with performance. It used to be common for people with mild to moderate prescriptions to simply participate in sports without wearing their glasses or contacts. But sharp vision is a vital ingredient to performing well in nearly every sport, and participating in sports when you have less than 20/20 vision is counterproductive.

Features to look for

Prescription glasses, sunglasses and even on-the-job industrial safety glasses don’t provide adequate protection for sports use. Sports goggles are made in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are even designed to fit in helmets used for football, hockey and baseball. Sports goggles should allow the use of helmets when the sport calls for it.

Lenses in sports eyewear are usually made of polycarbonate. Since polycarbonate is such an impact-resistant lens material, it works well to protect eyes from fast-moving objects. Polycarbonate lenses also have built-in ultraviolet (UV) protection and are coated to be scratch resistant — valuable properties for outdoor sports.

Polycarbonate is the material of choice for sports lenses, but the eyewear frame plays just as important a role. Different sports require different types of frames, which has led to development of sport-specific frames. Sport frames are constructed of highly impact-resistant plastic or polycarbonate, and most come with rubber padding to cushion the frame where it comes in contact with your head and the bridge of your nose.

Phoenix Eye Doctors Some sports styles are contoured, wrapping slightly around the face. This type of goggle works well for biking, hang-gliding, and sailing. Contact lens wearers especially benefit from the wraparound style, which shields your eyes from wind and dust.

A note about handball goggles

At one time, handball goggles for those with no need for vision correction were simply goggles with small openings in place of lenses. It was eventually recognized that the high speed of handballs compressed the ball enough to protrude through the opening and cause serious eye damage. All goggles worn for handball and racquetball should include impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses for adequate protection during these sports.

Important fitting considerations

Sport goggles must be properly fit to the individual wearer. This is particularly important with children, because there is a temptation to purchase a larger goggle than what is needed today so the youngster has “room to grow.” Some growing room is acceptable, since sports goggles are made to be somewhat flexible in their width adjustment. If the frames are oversize, however, they will not protect the way they were designed, leaving a potential for damage when there is impact to the head or the face. It’s a risk not worth taking.

By the same token, permitting a youngster to continue wearing goggles that he or she has outgrown can be just as dangerous. First, the frames will be uncomfortable, tempting the child to take them off. Secondly, the frames may obstruct peripheral vision, leading to poor performance with a potential for impact from unseen sources to one side or another. Review the fit of your youngsters’ sports eyewear each year to ensure that they are still providing proper protection and are fitting comfortably. Make sure the padding inside the sides of the goggle rests flush with the face and the eyes are centered in the lens area.

For more information on sports eyewear, visit All About Vision®.

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Performance and Sport Sunglasses

The boom in outdoor sports activities like mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating has also created a demand for sports- and performance-oriented sunglasses.

These special-purpose sunglasses are designed to be exceptionally light and comfortable, able to withstand extreme conditions and stay comfortably in place during any activity.

Lenses

Perhaps the most important aspect of effective sports sunwear is the optical quality and visual enhancement properties of the lenses. In particular, sports and performance lenses are available in a wide variety of tints to modify light in certain ways to enhance contrast. This allows you to see certain objects (a tennis ball, for example) with greater clarity to enhance your reaction time.

Polycarbonate lenses are the lens of choice for most sport sunglasses because they are lightweight, super strong and more impact-resistant than lenses made of other materials.

Polarized lenses are also in demand, because they reduce glare from light reflecting off flat surfaces such as water or a field of snow. There is, however, some debate about the advisability of polarized lenses for sports like downhill and mogul skiing, since seeing sunlight reflecting from icy patches on the slopes is often beneficial.

Frames

Performance Sunglasses The frames for performance and sport sunglasses are made of lightweight and durable materials such as polyamide, which keeps its shape even under stress. Styles are typically aerodynamic, with sleek lines. No-slip temple grips and nose pads are popular features to help keep the eyewear in place despite wearer perspiration during the heat of competition.

What’s your sport?

Each sport has its own unique visual requirements, which has led to the development of sport-specific sunglasses. Frames and lenses are now available that are targeted specifically to the golfer, the cyclist, the boater, the rock climber and so on.

For example, a certain lens tint might help a golfer notice subtle changes in the direction of the blades of grass on a green that could affect the line of their putt, while a completely different tint might be better to help a hunter see the contrast of a flying bird against an overcast sky.

If you prefer to be a Jack (or Jill) of all sports, there are also multipurpose sports sunglasses that feature interchangeable lenses with different tints for different sports and lighting conditions.

For more information on sport sunglasses and polarized sunglasses, visit All About Vision®.

Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net