June 27 is National Sunglasses Day

    Posted by Emily Martin on 6/27/14 11:30 AM

    The summer's must-have accessory has always been sunglasses - from big ones to little ones, bright colors to sleek black, trendy shapes to classic aviators. People have used protective eyeglasses for centuries and can be traced back to the prehistoric age when the Inuit used walrus ivory to make slitted masks to shield their eyes from the sun.

    Screen_Shot_2014-06-27_at_9.25.59_AM

    In the early 1900s, the practice of wearing sunglasses became more widespread, especially among Hollywood movie stars. Soon, inexpensive shades were being mass produced and sold on beaches and boardwalks along the east coast. During WWII, sunglasses played a major role when Bausch & Lomb developed an anti-glare aviator style that "banned the rays" for pilots and RayBan was born. In 1937, this sought-after style was an instant hit with celebrities and the general public when it became available for purchase. Even today it is a favorite of trendsetters.

    Screen_Shot_2014-06-27_at_10.01.38_AM

    Not only do your shades make a fashion statement, they also protect your eyes and vision from the harmful effects of the sun. Follow these tips when choosing your new pair of sunglasses:

    • Always choose a pair that protects against UVA and UVB rays

    • Bigger is better - go for large frames that protect the delicate skin around your eyes

    • Try out tints - they can reduce glare and enhance contrast and depth perception

    • Material matters - opt for polycarbonate for sports use. It is impact resistant and lightweight

     

    Stop into any Thoma & Sutton Eye Care location to browse our selection of sunglasses by brands such as Maui Jim, RayBan, and Oakley. You can also check out our new arrivals on our Pinterest page http://bit.ly/1mlJP7E

    N6163_TOKYO_TORTOISE

    Topics: Eye Health, Eye Care Tips, Eyewear, Sunglasses

    Focus on Low Vision in February

    Posted by Emily Martin on 2/3/14 8:00 AM

    February is Low Vision Awareness Month and the perfect time to learn how to reduce your risks and keep your eyes healthy. Approximately 14 million Americans are affected by low vision - a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with standard eyeglasses, medicine, or surgery. Often resulting from an eye disease or injury, low vision interferes with everyday tasks like reading, watching television, or driving a car.

    The most important thing you can do for your eyes is to have a yearly comprehensive eye exam. Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, have no symptoms in the early stages and can only be detected through an exam. Learning your risk factors for various eye disease is another step you can take to ensure healthy vision. You are at an increased risk for glaucoma or cataracts if you are African American, have diabetes, or are over the age of 60. Macular degeneration is more prevalent in Caucasians, smokers, and people with a family history of the disease.

    You can reduce your risk for low vision by protecting your eyes from external factors with the use of safety glasses and sunglasses. Eye injuries can cause various impairments from cloudy or distorted vision to complete blindness. Always wear safety glasses when handling chemicals, performing tasks that involve flying debris (trimming hedges or woodworking), or playing sports. Low vision may also be caused from damage from harmful UV rays. Overexposure has been linked to the development of cataracts and may increase your risk for macular degeneration. Since UV damage is cumulative, it is most beneficial to make wearing sunglasses a habit as early as possible. Look for sunglasses that have large frames to protect the area around the eyes and lenses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.

    Signs of low vision can include central vision loss, peripheral (side) vision loss, night blindness, hazy/blurred vision, and even loss of ability to distinguish colors. Low vision is not a normal symptom of aging. If you experience any changes in your vision, a visit to your eye doctor will distinguish normal changes in your eyes from an eye disease.

    While treatments for low vision have come a long way in recent years, an ounce of prevention is still worth more than a pound of cure. Vision aids are available to help manage low vision by magnifying objects and filtering light but nothing will restore sight once it is lost.

    Topics: Eye Health, Eye Exam, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma

    How to Treat Common Eye Conditions

    Posted by Emily Martin on 1/15/14 10:50 AM

    From time to time we all experience some discomfort associated with a common eye condition. Mild cases can easily be treated with over the counter remedies while other, more serious cases will require medical attention.

    Dry Eyes: caused by an insufficient amount of tears lubricating the eye, symptoms include irritated eyes, a gritty or scratchy feeling, and/or blurred vision. In mild cases an over-the-counter artificial tear solution can be used to alleviate the discomfort. For those with chronic dry eyes, a visit to the optometrist for an eye exam and discussion of treatment options is needed.

    Sty: a painful, red bump on the eyelid caused by an infection of a gland or hair follicle. Applying a warm compress several times a day can help soothe the area. Never squeeze or press on a sty as it may cause the infection to spread. Wearing contact lenses and applying eye make up should be avoided during the course of treatment of a sty. See an eye doctor if symptoms worsen or last for more than a few days.

    Eye Floaters: dark gray spots or strands that appear to be floating right in front of your face are actually small strands of collagen fibers inside your eye. As you move your eye, the fibers move inside the vitreous (the jelly like substance inside your eye that gives it it’s shape) and cause the “floaters” to appear. An occasional dark spot or blur in your vision shouldn’t be worrisome, however, if you experience a rush of floaters or they occur along with flashing lights, consult your eye doctor right away. These symptoms could indicate a detached retina or bleeding inside the eye.

    Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): highly contagious and easily spread, pink eye is typically a minor eye infection that can turn into a more serious problem without treatment. Conjunctivitis may be caused by an allergic reaction, bacterial infection, or viruses associated with the common cold. See your optometrist if you develop pink eye so that the cause can be determined and proper treatment can begin immediately. A course of antibiotics along with applying a cold compress to the eye will usually help clear up the infection within a few days.

    Foreign bodies: dirt, debris, a fragment of a contact lens, or any other small particle in your eye. Your eye will become red and irritated and will begin to produce tears to flush out the speck. If your tears do not rinse the foreign body out, try moving your eye from right to left or in a circular motion to help dislodge the dirt. You can also flush your eye with water using an eyebath. Never rub or apply any pressure to your eye in an attempt to remove the debris. Foreign bodies in the eye can cause corneal abrasions if not removed promptly. If you aren’t able to remove the offending object yourself or if the debris has become lodged in the eye itself, seek treatment from your eye doctor right away.

    Topics: Eye Health

    Eye Injuries Are Avoidable

    Posted by Emily Martin on 11/7/13 11:14 AM

    Approximately 600,000 eye injuries occur every year as a result of sports or recreational activities – a staggering statistic considering more than 90% of those could be prevented by simply wearing protective eyewear. If you aren’t taking this step for yourself or your children, you are not alone. According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, fewer than 35% of respondents reported wearing eye protection while playing sports.

    Many sports are considered high risk for eye injuries as they involve projectiles, close contact, and “sticks”, as used in golf or hockey. School aged children are particularly susceptible to eye injury while playing sports since their athletic skills (hand-eye coordination, balance, and reaction time) are still being developed. Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children and the majority of these injuries occur in 11-14 year olds while playing sports. Most school athletic departments and independent youth sports organizations do not require eye protection so it is up to the parent to make sure their children’s eyes are being protected.

    Sports aren’t the only recreational activity that can pose a risk to your vision. Home repairs and lawn care, and hobbies such as woodworking, hunting, and even fishing can create hazards. Flying debris from saws, grinders, and drills can lodge in the eye and cause injury and infection. Sticks or rocks kicked up by the lawn mower and splintered branches while trimming the hedges can lead to serious injury. Nearly half of all reported eye injuries occur in and around the home while doing everyday tasks.

    Regular eyeglasses are not protective eyewear. Safety glasses must conform to a higher standard of impact resistance than eyeglasses, for both frames and lenses. Safety frames are stronger than street wear, usually heat resistant, and are designed to prevent the lenses from being pushed into the face. The lenses are most often polycarbonate, in either prescription or non-prescription, because they are lightweight, scratch resistant, and 10 times more impact resistant than other materials. When purchasing your safety glasses make sure to look for the Z87 label – the standard for protective eyewear as set by the American National Standards Institute.

    Protective glasses can be suited to your taste with different colors and frame styles and well as customizing their function with options such as polarized lenses to cut glare while fishing, or tinted lenses to improve accuracy while hunting and target shooting.

    Protecting your eyes from injury is the simplest way to ensure healthy vision. In the event you do suffer an eye trauma, do not attempt to treat it yourself. Without applying pressure, cover the eye with a cold compress and see your eye doctor as soon as possible. If the injury affects vision, eye movement, or there is bleeding in or around the eye, seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Serious eye injuries can lead to permanent vision loss so it is very important to respond quickly.

    Topics: Eye Health, Eye Care Tips

    4 Tips Every Parent Should Read

    Posted by Emily Martin on 8/30/13 3:00 PM

    It’s that time of year again…bus stops, backpacks, sports practice, and the dreaded homework! It is said that 80% of what we learn is through our eyes. Whether it’s on the chalkboard, reading a book, or on the computer or TV screen, good vision is vital to the learning process.

    Ensure your child’s success this school year with these healthy vision tips:

    1. Monitor their headaches: Sure, we all get headaches from time to time but frequent headaches can be a sign of poor vision. If your child is farsighted – meaning that can see clearly at a distance but not up close – they may have trouble reading textbooks and completing homework.
    1. Pay attention to squinting: Have you noticed your child squinting to see things or sitting closer than usual to the TV or computer? They may be nearsighted – meaning that they can see objects clearly in close range but distance vision is poor. This will certainly affect their ability to the see the chalkboard in the classroom and even their performance in sports they play.
    1. Have them read to you: Being distracted easily while doing homework or losing their place while reading is often labeled as hyperactivity but it can also be a clear symptom of a vision problem. Astigmatism – a condition that causes objects to appear blurry and distorted – may be the reason behind your child avoiding doing their homework.
    1. Be aware of new behaviors: Often a child will compensate for poor vision by tilting their head to one side or closing one eye. This can be a warning sign of strabismus – an eye muscle imbalance that causes double vision. It may also be a symptom of a more serious medical problem, such as a cataract.

    If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms make an appointment for a comprehensive exam with your eye care provider.

    Topics: Kids, Eye Health, Eye Exam