3 Fun Facts About the Color of Your Eyes

Every eye color is unique and so are the ways that the color reacts to the world around you. It may not be something you think about too often, but different eye colors mean different things for your eyes. Here are three fun facts about the color of your eyes!



  1. The world’s most common eye color is brown, with over 55% of the world’s population having brown eyes. People with brown eyes will be happy to know that researchers have found the higher melanin content in your brown eyes is associated with a number of health benefits. For example, people with brown eyes appear less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than people with light-colored eyes.
  2. People with blue eyes share a common ancestor with every other person with blue eyes in the world. Scientists have found a genetic mutation that took place 6,000-10,000 years ago that caused the color of all people with blue eyes on the planet. This mutation shuts off the body’s ability to produce brown eyes. This inherited switch is in the exact same spot in everyone’s DNA, which is what leads scientists to conclude that blue eyed people are all linked to one shared ancestor.
  3. Heterochromia is when a person has two different colored eyes. This is something that can also be seen in animals, commonly cats and dogs. There are three different types of heterochromia. Complete heterochromia is where one eye is completely different from the other eye color. Partial heterochromia is when only part of one eye has a different color than the rest of the same eye. This can occur in one or both eyes. Central heterochromia is when the color at the boarder of the pupil is a different color compared to the rest of the eye’s color.

 No matter what your eye color is, make sure to take care of your eyes and keep them healthy. Continue going to annual checkups and contact your eye doctor if anything seems off about your eyes. Book an appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Are Cheap Sunglasses Bad for Your Eyes?

High-quality sunglasses usually come with a high price tag. Finding inexpensive sunglasses that provide the same benefits as their counterparts can be difficult. Here are some eye care tips on what to look for when purchasing sunglasses.

Tip 1 – Find sunglasses that have 100% protection from UV rays. Quality sunglasses provide protection from ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Ultraviolet light damages the cornea and the retina. Good sunglasses can eliminate UV rays completely.


Tip 2 – Check the optical quality of the sunglasses. The sunglasses may be clear the first time you try them on, but after wearing them for a full day, there may be strain on your eyes. This is due to the poor quality of the lenses. This can be due to  the lens material or the lenses warped in the frame.

Tip 3 – Look for sunglasses with impact resistance. Getting sunglasses that don’t meet the level of impact resistance for U.S. standards may be easy to break. Most lenses are now made of polycarbonate because they are more impact resistant than plastic or glass lenses. They also provide 100% protection from the harmful UV rays and are more lightweight.

Talk to your eye doctor before you commit to a pair of cheap sunglasses and keep these eye care tips in mind while shopping.

Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.



What are Scleral Contact Lenses?


Have you been told that you can’t wear contact lenses because you have an irregular cornea or any other eye problems that won’t allow you to wear a regular contact lense? You might want to talk to your eye doctor about scleral contact lenses.

What is it? – A scleral lens is a large contact lens that rests on the sclera (the white of the eye) and creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea. They can be used to treat a variety of eye conditions that may not respond to other forms of treatment.

Medical uses – Scleral lenses can be used to improve vision and reduce pain and light sensitivity for people who suffer from disorders or injuries to the eye, including dry eye syndrome, corneal ectasia, keratoconus, after LASIK or other refractive surgery, and more. They may also be used with people who have eyes that are too sensitive for other smaller corneal-type lenses, but still need a more rigid lens for vision correction.

Made for your eye – Scleral lenses can be custom made to fit your eye perfectly and fit your reason for needing them. The lens fitting system has both left and right anatomical designs. This eliminates the complex fitting algorithms from the lens fitting. There are various different fitting options for the many different shapes of eyes. Ask your eye doctor to see if these are an option that could help you.

Talk to your eye doctor to see if scleral lenses can help to improve your eye health and vision. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

What to Do If you Scratch Your Eye

You probably know basic first aid, but do you know first aid for eye scratches? Your eyes do a great job of protecting themselves with eyelashes and fast reflexes, but accidents still happen. Here is everything that you should know about eye care for eye scratches.


What happens when you scratch your eye?

Most eye scratches fall into the category of corneal abrasions, or scratches to the outer layer of the eye. Corneal abrasions are usually mild and heal in just a couple of days. However, the cornea plays a large role in your vision by focusing light as it enters you eye, so if a corneal abrasion were to scar, it could cause blurry vision or an increased sensitivity to light. If you have a corneal abrasion, you might feel as if there is something large in your eye. Other symptoms include redness, tearing, blurry vision, light sensitivity, or a dull ache.

If you think you’ve scratched your eye, you SHOULD: Rinse your eye gently with clean water or a mild saline solution. This can flush any remaining foreign objects out of your eye. Follow this by blinking repeatedly. If redness and pain continue after you clean your eye, seek your eye doctor. They will be able to assess the degree of the scratch and prescribe eye drops to promote fast healing.

If you think you’ve scratched your eye, DON’t: Whatever you do, don’t rub or touch your eye as you might be tempted to do. This can make the abrasion much worse, and touching your eye will not actually help remove any foreign objects. Your eye can do this much better on its own. If you normally wear contact lenses, wear your eyeglasses instead until your eye has healed.

The best way to take care of corneal abrasions is to avoid getting them! Still, if you do scratch your eye, follow these eye care tips in order to ensure that your eye heals quickly and without lasting impact. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Why Decorative Contacts Are a Scary Idea

eye-safetyWith Halloween fast approaching, you might be considering using decorative contacts to change your eye color for some dramatic costume. If that’s the case, think again. Many decorative contacts are incredibly dangerous. Here is everything that you need to know about decorative contacts and eye safety.

All of the risks of decorative contacts— Decorative contact lenses are overseen and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and for good reason. Although decorative contact lenses simply change the look of your eyes and do not correct your vision, wearing decorate lenses can cause serious damage to your eyes if you did not obtain the lenses with a prescription or worn incorrectly. Possible risks include: redness, pain, scratches on the top layer of your eye (corneal abrasions), infection, decreased vision, and even blindness.

Proper decorative contact lens safety— Yes, you can still buy decorative contact lenses from your eye doctor or even the internet. However, it is absolutely essential that you only order lenses from a company that is FDA approved and requires an actual, eye doctor verified prescription. If the company does not request or verify your prescription, they are breaking federal law and are probably selling you illegal (and dangerous) contact lenses.

The bottom line on decorative contacts and eye safety— Even if it seems like there are a lot of cheap or convenient decorative contacts out there that you feel like would just perfectly augment your Halloween costume, don’t sacrifice your eye safety. Never, ever buy contact lenses without a prescription. Visit your eye doctor right away if you notice any pain or redness after wearing any type of contacts, and closely follow the directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing any type of lenses.

Don’t let fashion interfere with your eye safety and health! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.


Why Do I Keep Getting Styes?

Has your eyelid ever become red or painful for no reason? A stye is an infection of the eyelid that causes a red bump. Here is everything that you should know about eye styes.

Symptoms— A stye is the swelling of your eyelid, also known as a hordeolum. The primary symptoms of a stye are redness and swelling. Your eyelid will probably feel irritated or be painful upon touch. The infection is either at the base of an eyelash follicle (external hordeolum) or in an oil gland (internal hordeolum).

Causes— Styes develop when bacteria (usually from your skin) gets trapped by dead skin cells on your eyelid to create a swollen bump. Styes are actually contagious because they are caused by bacteria from your skin and that bacteria can easily spread. However, basically everyone has the same type of bacteria and the same potential for getting styes. Just make sure to not let the bacteria come into contact with anyone else’s eyes by keeping your hands clean and not sharing pillowcases or washcloths.

Treatments and Prevention— The main treatment for styes is to keep your eyelids clean. If you have a stye, the first thing you should do is wash your eyelids thoroughly. Also make sure that you carefully wash your hands before using them to wash the stye. Another technique is to apply warm compresses (a washcloth heated with hot water with work) several times a day. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to pop the stye as you might a pimple. This will probably spread the infection and make the stye worse. Avoid wearing eye makeup while you have a stye because it can detain the healing process. If you usually wear contact lenses, wear your glasses instead until your eye heals.

Healthy habits will ensure that your eyes stay infection-free. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

How to Read Your Eyeglass Prescription

When you look at your eyeglass prescription, you will see a selection of numbers that probably make absolutely no sense. Here is the key to understanding the prescription for your eyeglasses.

What do OD and OS mean? On your eyeglass prescription, there are numbers listed below “OD” and “OS” headings:

  • O.D. is an abbreviation for oculus dexter, which refers to the right eye.
  • O.S. is an abbreviation for oculus sinister, which refers to the left eye.

O.U. and diopters— Sometimes there is also an O.U. (oculus uterque), which refers to both eyes. The further away from zero the number is, the more correction your vision requires. A plus (+) sign means that you are farsighted, and a negative (-) sign means that you are nearsighted. The numbers indicate how much correction your eyes require, measured in diopters (D).

Other terms, defined— There are a lot of other unexplained abbreviations on your prescription.

  • SPH (Sphere) reveals the prescription power of the eyeglasses, or how strong the lenses must be in order to correct your vision.
  • S (Spherical) refers to the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness in your vision.
  • CYL (Cylinder) is either a negative or a positive number that refers to the condition of astigmatism, where the cornea of your eye has an irregular shape which results in blurred or distorted vision. The larger the number, the more severe the astigmatism.
  • AXIS, which is a number between 0 and 180 degrees, indicates the degree and the direction of the astigmatism.

Remember, an eyeglass prescription is not the same as a contact lens prescription. The numbers are not the same, and they do not function the same way. In order to obtain a contact lens prescription, you must have a contact lens consultation and fitting.

Don’t let the prescription for your eyeglasses be a mystery! Talk to your eye doctor about all the numbers you don’t understand. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Can Vitamin C Reduce the Risk of Forming Cataracts?

You might think of Vitamin C as a way of preventing colds, but when it comes to eye care, Vitamin C is actually pretty important. Here is everything that you need to know about reducing your risk of cataracts with Vitamin C.


What are cataracts? 

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s lens and is a leading causes of vision loss. There are three different types of cataract: subcapsular, nuclear, and cortical. Although each type of cataract is slightly different, the basic process is the same. The lens of the eye, which is made primarily of water and proteins, begins to cloud over as some of the constituent proteins clump together. Over time, this clump can grow larger and make it harder and harder to see.

Does Vitamin C really prevent Cataracts?

No vitamin is a sure bet against cataracts, but a number of studies suggest that higher dietary intakes of Vitamin C are associated with decreased risks of cataracts. Vitamin C supports the health of all cells, and the cells that make up your eyes are no exception. Other studies reveal that Vitamin C also slows the development of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60-years old. Really, when it comes to Vitamin C for eye care, you can’t go wrong.

What foods should you eat for the best sources of Vitamin C?

When you think of Vitamin C, oranges probably come to mind. Just one medium orange has about 70mg of Vitamin C, nearly 80% of the recommended daily value. Other prime sources include strawberries, kiwis, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, and kale. If you don’t feel able to consume a sufficient amount of Vitamin C through fruits and vegetables, consider supplements to ensure that you are able to fortify your eyes against cataracts!

Reduce the risk of cataracts with Vitamin C! Talk to your optometrist about the latest eye care tips. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Eyeglass Lens Materials – Features and Benefits


Lenses can make a big difference in how happy you are with your eyeglasses, but choosing the right lens material can be a difficult process of balancing style, weight, and cost without sacrificing practicality and comfort. Here is everything that you need to know about the features and benefits of different lens materials.

Standard plastic lenses— Standard plastic lenses are well known for their comfort and durability. They are a popular choice for eyeglasses because they are affordable and safe. A scratch-resistant coating is easy to apply.

Mid-Index plastic lenses— Mid-index plastic lenses are slimmer than standard plastic, which means that for stronger prescriptions that typically require thicker (and more expensive) lenses, they can remain thinner (and less expensive).

High-index plastic lenses— High-index plastic lenses are perfect for stronger prescriptions because they are the thinnest and lightest of all of the plastic materials. However, they are also more expensive than standard and mid-index plastic lenses.

Polycarbonate lenses— Polycarbonate lenses are more durable than other plastic materials and don’t need to be very thick for most prescriptions. Polycarbonate is the perfect material for children’s eyeglasses, because they are almost completely unbreakable.

High-definition (HD) lenses — High-definition lenses are customized for each prescription using digital technology. The resulting glasses are usually superior to other materials because the lenses offer a better field of vision and highly individualized vision correction.

Composite lenses— Composite lenses are made of polycarbonate, Trivex, and other materials. The material is durable, blocks out UVA and UVB rays from the sun, and is virtually weightless. If you wear glasses 24/7, these might be for you.

When it comes to materials for eyeglasses, you’ve got lots of options! Talk to your optometrist about the best lenses for your lifestyle. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

September is Healthy Aging Month – How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy as You Age

Do you know how to protect your vision as you age? September is Healthy Aging Month, which means that it’s time to catch up on the latest eye doctor recommendations to ensure that you experience long-lasting eye health.

Eat healthy— Nutrition is a key component of eye health. For an optimal, vision-supportive diet, include plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, and seeds. Make sure to also incorporate Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits and leafy, green vegetables), Vitamin A, and Beta Carotene (both found in carrots and sweet potatoes).

Quit smoking— If you’ve ever wondered if smoking affects your eyes, here is the answer: yes, yes, YES. Smoking is a eye-healthsignificant factor in the development of several deleterious eye conditions and is shown to increase your chance of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and other eye diseases.

Take computer breaks— If you spend a fair bit of time on the computer, you should be aware of the dangers of digital eye strain. Take breaks every 15 to 20 minutes during which you look away from the computer screen to focus on a distant object and adjust the lighting in the room to minimize glare on your screen.

Wear Sunglasses— Spending time outdoors (and being active!) is definitely a good thing—but make sure that you adequately protect your eyes when you’re outside. Wear sunglasses with UV protection whenever you are in direct sunlight.

Schedule regular eye exams—Scheduling regular eye exams is one of the most important steps in maintaining strong eye health as you age. Your eye doctor will be able to assess and address any problems with your eyes in the early stages and ensure that your vision remains optimal.

It’s never too early to start taking your eye health seriously! Healthy habits and regular eye exams will ensure that your eyes have the best chance of staying healthy as you age. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.