Contact Lenses and Halloween

Contact lenses can be great fun at Halloween. They can truly complete the costume. However, every year over 13,000 people are treated in emergency rooms due to contact lens injuries, many of them from injuries sustained over the Halloween celebrations.  Contact lenses are medical devices. This isn’t just our opinion. The sale and fit of contact lenses are controlled by Food & Drug Administration.

The sale of unprescribed contact lenses have been illegal in the United States since 2005, yet many a gas station or costume shop still manages to import and sell them, without knowing how to properly fit them, or knowing whether the devices were manufactured to be safely worn. Even under the best supervision, injury and infections can occur. Even if you have been to an ophthalmologist or optometrist and received a prescription, be sure to only buy costume contacts from retailers who require a prescription to purchase the lenses and who only sell FDA-approved contact lenses.

If you are set on wearing contact lenses as part of your costume, schedule an eye exam with us and let us measure your eyes in order to properly fit contacts.

Let’s make this a fun and safe Halloween for everyone!

2017-09-25T13:22:17-05:00October 2nd, 2017|Contact Lenses, Safety|0 Comments

The Once In A Century Solar Eclipse

Seems everyone is getting very excited for the coming complete solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st at 2:45 PM. The New Haven area is almost 640 miles from seeing the total eclipse, so you better plan on a crowded trip down to South Carolina if you want to see the sun totally blocked out. Our area will be almost 70% blocked out at the height of the eclipse. Do you want to see the eclipse?

DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN…. even during an eclipse!

Here are a few tips we gathered from NASA as to how to look at an eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all of North America. The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds, turning day into night and making visible the otherwise hidden solar corona — the sun’s outer atmosphere — one of nature’s most awesome sights. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. To date five manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter. Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.
  • If you are within the path of totality (https://go.nasa.gov/2pC0lhe(link is external)), remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.

Want to see what the eclipse will look like from your zip code? Click this great link from Vox.

2017-08-08T10:46:36-05:00August 14th, 2017|Fun facts, Safety, Trivia|0 Comments

Smoking Is Bad For Your Eyes

Despite over 50 years of being told how bad cigarettes are for us and the mountains of scientific evidence that link smoking to lung cancer and heart disease, close to 60 million Americans still smoke cigarettes regularly. Smoking however, is bad for more than your heart, your lungs, and your wallet. Smoking is bad for your eyes as well. If you value your eyesight and we believe you do, our friends at All About Vision have put together this infographic sharing how cigarettes can harm your vision and even contribute to blindness. Guess there is something to that old Jerome Kerns song, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

smoking-infographic

2017-05-22T10:56:39-05:00March 22nd, 2016|Conditions, Safety|0 Comments

Digital Eye Strain

Did you get a new mobile phone for the holidays? Perhaps a new tablet was waiting for you under the tree? Are waiting to get an Apple Watch when they are released in March? More and more of us are spending more and more time with digital devices and they are only becoming an ever more present part of our lives. While they are convenient and provide a world of information at our fingertips, they are also to blame for digital eye strain. Most of us who spend a lot of time with our smartphones or tablets experience digital eye strain and don’t even know it. The folks at The Vision Council have put together this infographic on Digital Eye Strain and how to reduce it If you work a lot online or experience tired eyes more than you used to, schedule an eye exam with the independent doctors of Optometry at Europtics today and let us see if perhaps your digital devices are to blame.

DES15_Infographic

2017-05-22T10:56:39-05:00January 27th, 2015|Exams, Safety|0 Comments

Halloween Contact Lenses – Buyer Beware

Halloween is a very fun time of year. Dressing up is great fun, no matter how young or how old you are. For the most part it is all harmless fun. Did you know however, that those costume contact lenses you might be considering could not only be a violation of the law, but could permanently damage your eyesight? We certainly don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but as eye care professionals, we see and hear horror stories about what happens to those who cut corners and put their own eyesight at risk just for the fun of one evening. Take a look at this infographic from the folks at Eye-Q Vision. If you are determined that contact lenses be part of your costume we encourage you to contact us first, so that we can help you do it right.

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2017-05-22T10:56:39-05:00October 13th, 2014|Safety|0 Comments

Eat Better…See Better

There are plenty of ways to improve your eye health — including getting enough rest (this allows your eyes to fully repair and recover from the day) and taking breaks from the computer screen and books. Though all of these will lead to better vision and increased eye strength, the best way to improve your eyesight is through the foods you eat. Here, are eight foods that will help improve your overall eye health and that taste yummy too!

Eat Better

Fish

Fish — particularly salmon, tuna and cod — contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in the retina. Omega-3s are also known for enhancing your brain power which indirectly leads to better vision. If you’re not a fan of fish, take fish oil pills for similar results. 

Green vegetables

Green veggies — such as spinach, collard greens, broccoli and kale — are known to prevent loss of vision. They’re packed with vitamins A, B12, C and calcium. Your best bet is to eat as many leafy greens per day as possible — and make sure not to overcook them as they can lose some of their valuable nutrients.

Carrots

You’ve probably been hearing carrots were good for you since your days of watching Bugs Bunny, but why? Carrots contain beta carotene, which is good for the retina and protects against sun damage.

Eggs

Start your day off with an egg or two to keep your vision on track. Eggs contain proteins that are beneficial to the lens of your eye. The yolk is equally good for you as it helps prevent eye diseases as you age.

Avocados

Avocados contain more lutein than any other fruit. Lutein improves eyesight by reducing your chances of cataracts and other eye diseases.

Dark Chocolate

Hard to imagine something so good can be so good for you, however dark chocolate is good for your vision! Specifically, it contains flavonoids that protect the blood vessels in your eyes. Strong blood vessels equal strong cornea and strong lens, so eat up!

Nuts

Almonds, cashews and peanuts all contain omega-3s, just like fish. Though they don’t contain as much, they’ve also been known to help reduce dry eyes and eye disease as you age. Grab a handful mid-morning if you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

Garlic

Similar to eggs, garlic helps protect the lens of the eye and can help protect against cataracts and eye disease as you age. Garlic really is a superfood — in addition to improving eye health, it also contributes to lower cholesterol, a healthier immune system and increased blood flow.

 

2017-05-22T10:56:40-05:00November 6th, 2013|Fun facts, Safety|0 Comments

October is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Ocotber

Did you know that every year over 2.5 million eye injuries occur in the United States resulting in over 50,000 people permanently losing all or part of their vision?  According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the annual costs related to eye injuries cost more $1.3 billion. While 800,000 of those injuries occur on the job, which leaves some 1.3 million injuries that happen at home. Eye injuries can occur from a variety of common sources, such as flying debris from lawn mowers or trimmers, or splashes from household cleaners, paints or solvents. Most eye injuries can be prevented by wearing eye protection.

Knowing what to do for an eye emergency can save valuable time and possibly prevent vision loss. Prevent Blindness America offers a free “First Aid for Eye Emergencies” sticker in both English and Spanish that can be placed on the inside of a medicine cabinet.  Basic eye injury first aid instructions include:

Chemical Burns to the Eye

  • Immediately flush the eye with water or any other drinkable liquid. Hold the eye under a faucet or shower, or pour water into the eye using a clean container. Keep the eye open and as wide as possible while flushing. Continue flushing for at least 15 minutes.
  • DO NOT use an eyecup. DO NOT bandage the eye.
  • If a contact lens is in the eye, begin flushing over the lens immediately. This may wash away the lens.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment after flushing.

Specks in the Eye

  • DO NOT rub the eye.
  • Try to let tears wash the speck out or use an eyewash.
  • Try lifting the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid.
  • If the speck does not wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage it lightly, and see a doctor.

Blows to the Eye

  • Apply a cold compress without putting pressure on the eye. Crushed ice in a plastic bag can be taped to the forehead to rest gently on the injured eye.
  • In cases of pain, reduced vision, or discoloration (black eye), seek emergency medical care. Any of these symptoms could mean internal eye damage.

Cuts and Punctures of the Eye or Eyelid

  • DO NOT wash out the eye with water or any other liquid.
  • DO NOT try to remove an object that is stuck in the eye.
  • Cover the eye with a rigid shield without applying pressure. The bottom half of a paper cup can be used.
  • See a doctor at once.

For more information on how to protect the eyes at home, eye protection recommendations, or to request the First Aid for Eye Emergencies sticker, call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or visit their website preventblindness.org.

2017-05-22T10:56:40-05:00October 8th, 2013|Safety|0 Comments