Reading Your Eyeglass Prescription

optometristIf you’ve just had an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, you may notice that your prescription has quite a few notations, abbreviations, and numbers that you may not understand. Of course, being nearsighted or farsighted is fairly straightforward, but the other notations may not be so obvious. Learn to decipher all the parts of your prescription so that you can be knowledgeable about the state of your eyes.

Understanding Your Prescription by an Optometrist

What is OD? What is OS? These abbreviations are the first step in understanding your eyeglass prescription. OD is short for the Latin phrase, oculus dexter, and OS is short for oculus sinister. These are the terms for the right and left eye, respectively. If you see anything labeled OU, that is short for oculus uterque, which refers to both eyes. In rare instances you may see RE (right eye) or LE (left eye).

How can I tell if I’m near or farsighted? If you see SPH, this indicates the word “sphere,” which signifies the amount of lens power prescribed to correct your nearsightedness or farsightedness. A negative sign indicates that you are nearsighted, and a positive sign means that you are farsighted.

What about astigmatism? If your prescription includes CYL, which stands for “cylinder,” it is referring to the amount of lens power needed to correct your astigmatism. This condition is a result of the cornea and/or lens being shaped more oblong, rather than round. A number next to CYL may also give you an idea about whether you are near or farsighted.

Is there anything else I should know about? Your optometrist may write specific lens recommendations on your eyeglass prescription, especially if you need progressive lenses or an anti-reflective coating. These recommendations will allow for comfort.

Keep in mind that an eyeglass prescription is different from a contact lens prescription and  cannot be used interchangeably. To learn more about reading your prescription or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.


How to Keep Your Glasses in Good Shape

sunglassesAt Valley Eyecare Center, we know that you invest a lot of time in finding the right pair of eyeglasses and sunglasses. Once you’ve found the perfect pair, it is important to keep these glasses in tiptop shape. Below, we’ve listed a few of our best secrets when it comes to making sure that your glasses and sunglasses are in their best condition!

Maintaining Eyeglasses and Sunglasses

Don’t forget to clean your glasses and sunglasses—You should wash your glasses at least once a day. Although one of your first instincts may be to reach for the bottom of your shirt to clean your glasses, this is one of the worst things you can do to your glasses. Paper towels, tissues, napkins, or shirts can easily scratch the lenses of your eyeglasses or sunglasses. Instead, make sure to rinse off your glasses with water before wiping or cleaning them. Even the tiniest particles of dirt can settle on your lenses, so wiping dry lenses can be abrasive to your lenses.

Use the proper sprays—If you use a chemical to clean your glasses, make sure to use one that is specifically made to clean eyeglass lenses. Do not use household cleaners like Windex, as these chemicals can damage or ruin your glasses or sunglasses.

Handle properly—Store your glasses when you’re not wearing them so that they do not get damaged or dirty. When you go to pick them up, make sure to be careful and grip the piece that comes across the bridge of the nose so that you do not end up bending the frames, and the lenses will still be clean.

Keeping your glasses and sunglasses in good shape is important so that you can keep your glasses for years on end! To learn more about eyeglass maintenance, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Our Eyeglass Guide

eyeglassesAre you having trouble seeing for the first time, or do you feel as if your prescription has changed since the last time you’ve had an eye exam? If you wear eyeglasses or think you may need to start wearing them, our eyeglass guide can help you determine what kind of glasses would suit you most!

Eyeglasses for Every Lifestyle

At Valley Eyecare Center, we have eyeglasses for every occasion, every fashion style, and every lifestyle. Our quiz will help you determine which eyeglasses are perfect for you!

Lifestyle questions—The eyeglass guide will ask you a few questions about your lifestyle—whether you’ve had eyeglasses in the past or whether you’re wearing them for the first time. These questions also include whether or not you need glasses for reading, driving, or watching TV.

Lens questions—Do you need bifocals? Do you use your glasses inside and outside? Do you typically wear prescription sunglasses, regular sunglasses, or do you not wear sunglasses at all? Do you work in front of a computer, or do you work in an industrial environment where you would need more protection in your lenses? All of these questions are important to answer in order to determine which kind of lenses your eyeglasses will need.

Other questions—The eyeglass guide will also ask you a series of questions about whether certain things bother you, such as the glare from the sun or from headlights or the computer screen. If any of those items give you a headache or causes changes in your vision, your eyeglasses can be customized to make sure that your headaches are minimized and you sight is restored.

Find the perfect eyeglasses for you! To learn more about our eyeglass guide, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Glasses or Contact Lenses—Which is Right for You?

contact-lensesContact lenses and glasses both correct vision and allow you to see properly. While both glasses and contacts are great options to correct your vision, the decision on which one you use is typically a personal preference. Our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center can help you to decide whether you are a glasses or contacts person.

Contact Lenses and Glasses Allow You to See Properly

Glasses require little maintenance—Glasses are very easy to care for. Unlike contact lenses, you do not need to touch your eyes in order to wear them, which can decrease your risk for developing certain eye infections. Glasses are also easier to clean and do not need to be replaced as often as contact lenses.

Glasses are a fashion statement—Whether you have one pair or multiple to go with your outfits, glasses are truly an extension of your personality.

Contact lenses allow you to see without obstructions—If you want to see properly, as if you aren’t wearing glasses, contact lenses may be just the thing for you. Just be sure to care for them, as they do touch your eyes every day. If you’re concerned about putting contact lenses into your eyes, make sure to look into the mirror so that you can focus on the image in front of you, and use your other hand to steady your face so that you do not poke yourself.

Contact lenses may change the color of your eyes—While glasses may be a great fashion statement, certain contact lenses are designed to make your eyes different colors. Make your eyes pop with colorful lenses.

As with any big decision, it is important to consider the different advantages and disadvantages of both contact lenses and glasses. To learn more information about the differences between these two vision correctors, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Safety in the Workplace

This month is Workplace Eye Safety Month! No matter where you work, it is important to keep your eyes safe in the workplace. Learn a few tips on how to keep your vision in its best condition.

Workplace Eye Safety

Eye_SafetyProtect your eyes—If you work in an environment that uses chemicals or oils, it is important to wear eye protection, such as goggles. Working in construction and manufacturing may also require the use of eye protection, as you want to make sure that your eyes are safe as you work.

Wear computer glasses—If you work at a computer for the majority of the day, it is important to save your eyes from eye strain. Maintain your eye safety by investing in computer glasses, which will block some of the blue light from the computer screen. Also, make sure to abide by the 20-20-20 rule—for every 20 minutes you work on the computer, focus on something that is 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to refocus your vision. This rule applies to phones and televisions, too! Do not spend too much of your day focusing on a screen.

Know your risks—Certain work environments are more dangerous to the eyes than others. Some jobs may require the use of safety eyewear, goggles, or special-use safety glasses. If you work in an environment that is more strenuous on your eyes, it is important to maintain and perhaps even increase your eye safety.

Workplace eye safety is important to your health, as well as your success in your career. Be sure to make your vision a priority no matter where you work so that your can maintain your eye health. To learn more about workplace eye safety, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Fall in Love with New Frames

EyeglassesFebruary is the season of love and appreciation. Show your eyes some love by treating them to some new eyeglasses! We’ve listed all of the newest frame styles and trends for 2017.

Love Your New Eyeglasses

If your prescription has changed, now is the perfect time to get a new pair of eyeglasses. Or, if you’re tired of your current frames, come into Valley Eyecare Center to check out our newest styles! Here are a few up and coming trends for 2017 frames:

  • Tortoise shell—We love this trend! There are many color pallets that are sure to fit any skin tone.
  • Oversized cat eye frames—These eyeglasses are perfect for any woman wanting to wear something that looks rather exclusive!
  • Clear frames—Want something that goes with every outfit and every hairstyle? Clear frames might be the way to go! Blending in with your face, these are perfect for anyone wanting to minimize the appearance of wearing eyeglasses.
  • Black frames—This classic look is especially popular in rectangular or square frames. Like clear frames, black frames go with any outfit and complement most facial structures.
  • Semi-rimless frames—These eyeglasses are all the rage and flatter both men and women. Semi-rimless frames can be dressed up or down, and they are a great fashion and business accessory!
  • Cat eye frames—Cat eye frames never seem to go out of style for women. These eyeglasses are great for business or casual looks and may add some whimsy to your outfits. Try a new color to brighten up your look!

Don’t wait to get new eyeglasses! Come in to see our newest frames! For more information about frames, or to schedule your annual eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

New Year, New Glasses

eyeglassesThe most popular New Years resolution is to be the best version of yourself. At Valley Eyecare Center, we believe that in order to be the best you that you can be, you should put your eyes first! Come in for your annual eye exam or get new eyeglasses for the New Year!

Eyeglasses for 2017

Update your prescription. One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to keep your prescription up to date. If you’ve had difficulty reading—either the computer or signs that are far away—your prescription may need to be adjusted. Even a small difference in your prescription can make a huge difference in your vision, so it is important to make sure that your eyeglasses are as updated as possible.

Invest in computer glasses. If you use the computer often, it is an excellent idea to purchase some computer lenses. The blue light that emanates from screens can cause eye strain. In an effort to keep your eyes as comfortable as possible and keep headaches at bay, computer eyeglasses may be just the thing for you. Computer glasses’ yellow tint will minimize the effect of the blue screen and will make working on the computer far easier than before.

Prescription sunglasses are perfect for those Phoenix residents. Since it is always sunny in Arizona, sunglasses are necessary year-round! Prescription sunglasses are not only stylish but also practical, as they will help you to drive easier, and you will be able to go about your daily tasks with ease and visibility.

The coming of 2017 is the perfect opportunity to put your eyes first! Don’t let your eyes go another day without making sure that they are healthy. To schedule your yearly eye exam or get new eyeglasses at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

New Eyewear for Mother’s Day

EyewearWhether they are career women or stay-at-home parents, mothers tend to have a very busy schedule—especially when it comes to updating their look. Much like clothes, glasses do not fit everyone the same way, and while trying on as many frames as possible can help you find the perfect fit, it is an unrealistic scenario to most people. At Valley Eyecare Center we know how important it is to choose eyewear without wasting time, which is why we have put together this short guide to help you narrow down your choices.

Face Shape

When choosing you glasses, you should take your face shape under consideration.

Oval: Look for frames that are as wide as the broadest part of your face—these will maintain the natural balanced proportions of an oval face.

Round: Frames shaped like a square or rectangle can help your face look longer and slimmer, adding balance to round features.

Square: Look for narrow, oval or round frame styles that sit high on the bridge of your nose. These will soften the appearance of the angles of a square face.

Oblong: To balance your face, opt for frames that have more depth than width, contrasting temples or sit low on your nose bridge.

Heart: Look for glasses with low-set temples and bottom heavy frame lines, round frames with curved edges, and square frames with round edges. These will help minimize the appearance of a broad forehead.

Base-down Triangle: Look for heavy-top frames (such as cat-eyes) to draw away attention from wide cheeks and chin.

Diamond: Frames that are wider than the cheekbones or curve up are ideal for this face shape. Look for cat-eye and oval eyeglass frames to accentuate your features.

Skin Tone

Cool: If your skin has a cool tone, you should opt for colors such as black, plum, gray, magenta, blue, mauve, pink, and silver. These will bring out your undertones.

Warm: Avoid pastels, as well as black and white frames. Earth tones such as gold, khaki, brown, beige, copper, peach, red, warm blue, eggshell, coral, orange, and dark green are the most flattering colors for your skin tones.

Treat yourself with new frames for mother’s day! Stop by one of our Valley Eyecare Center locations today!

Adjust To Your New Prescription

OptometristHave you just gotten a brand new prescription of glasses from your optometrist and felt as if it is not the one for you? Most of the time, your prescription is the perfect one for you but it takes a while to adjust. Keep reading to find out just how you can adjust to your new prescription!

Ways to Get Rid of Transition Pain

If you feel a headache coming on every time you put on your new prescription glasses, it is possible that you are straining the eye muscles surrounding your face too much.

With every new prescription, there are new reactions received from your eyes. To ease the straining phase your eyes go through, follow these critical steps:

  • As soon as you wake up, put on your glasses newly prescribed by your optometrist. Waking up to your new lenses will accustom your eyes to them.
  • It is okay to remove your glasses every once in a while to give your eyes a break for a couple of hours. However, it is recommended to keep the eye glasses on as it will deduct from the adjustment period.
  • Take painkillers if the pain is truly unbearable. Over-the-counter medicine like Advil or Aleve would work perfectly on the surrounding muscles of your eyes. Sometimes, taking painkillers diminish the transition issues completely.

If the Latter Does Not Work

If more than a couple weeks have gone by and the headaches, pain, and straining are still present, contact your optometrist about any concerns regarding your new prescription. It is less likely that the problem is with the actual prescription but it is possible. However, if the headaches are not as severe, time will most likely heal.

For more information about prescription glasses or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists, visit our website.


Eyecare Center for Phoenix Families

Eyecare CenterMaintaining healthy eyes requires regular vision and eye health exams. However, finding an eye care provider that is right for you and your family can be challenging. If you are looking for an eyecare center with Optometrists that are experienced in all areas of vision care, keep reading to find out what our friendly staff at Valley Eyecare Center can offer you.

  • Comprehensive Eye Exams – During a comprehensive eye exam, our Optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center can determine what prescription you need for glasses or contact lenses, check for common eye diseases, and ensure that your eyesight is in good shape and that your eyes are working as they should.
  • Management of Glaucoma – Although incurable, we can help you manage Glaucoma by offering surgery, pills, and eye drops. The goal of any treatment is to prevent loss of vision, as vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. If detected early, there is a high chance that loss of vision would not happen.
  • Ocular Allergies – Some people with ocular allergies suffer from itchiness, and although some do not, it is the main cause of discomfort. Others can experience a stinging sensation and sleepiness that causes the rubbing of eyes. Symptoms also involve swelling of the lid, sensitivity to light, heavy sensation on the lids, redness, etc.
  • Age Related Macular Degeneration – Although no cure is yet available, age related macular degeneration treatments can aid in the prevention of vision loss or subdue the advancement of the disease.
  • Eyeglass Guide – Eyeglass Guide will help you better comprehend the many lens choices we have for you. This tool will take you through a survey of questions about you, your lifestyle and your specific eyeglass needs. Once you have reached the end, you will receive eyewear suggestions specifically tailored to meet your requirements.

We look forward to serving you at Valley Eyecare Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our Optometrists, visit our website.