Optical Fashion

May 29, 2013

Optical trends follow a similar lifecycle as clothing trends; there are many styles which will always be available and popular, while there are simultaneously fashions that will come about on a less frequent basis. While buying a pair of cat-eye frames similar to what your parents or grandparents wore in the 1950s might not be the best fashion choice, frames that are evocative of those styles are contemporary enough to avoid appearing ironic or dated. We have frames available in our optical departments in a wide array of colors, shapes, and styles that can fit any budget!

Choosing the Right Frame

Many patients will ask how they can determine the type of frame best suited to their facial structure. There’s also almost always some confusion on what shape face they even have! Below are some tips on determining your facial shape and the frames which should be avoided. 

Measuring your face shape is not as daunting a task as it may seem; all you need is a steady hand, a flexible measuring tape, and a mirror. AClens.com has provided an easy step-by-step instruction manual for shaping your face at home.

Read four measurements:

The width from the top of one cheek bone to the otherThe height of the middle of your forehead (between brow and hair lines)The base of one side of your jaw to the tip of your chin, multiplied by two.The length from your chin to your hair line

Face shapes

Round: facial width is similar to facial height, forehead and jaw are typically more narrow than the cheeks; avoid circular or curved frames and stick to geometric and rectangular frames.Oblong: height of the face is greater than 1.5 times the width. Cheeks, forehead, and chin are similar in width; avoid wide glasses with a lower overall height.Oval: facial height is close or slightly lower than 1.5 times the width. Forehead, cheeks, and chin are similar in width. Oval faces can tolerate any type of frame!Heart: forehead is wider than cheek bones and significantly wider than chin; avoid teardrop and lower-rimless frames.Square: height and width are nearly identical with the jaw and forehead close to cheek measurements;  avoid boxy or tall frames and choose round or curved frames.Diamond: cheek measurement is significantly wider than forehead and jaw; avoid angular frames and shop for curved frames.

Style Trends

Optical fashions are gleaning from the past and updating their looks; cat-eye frames, bold colors, and larger frames are all making a distinct presence in current optical styles. Glasses are upbeat, quirky, and taller this season. Eyefunk is an increasingly popular brand that reflects these changes, while traditional brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Ray Ban, and Coach are reflecting a similar stylistic change. While some frames are becoming  thinner and more streamlined, many are increasing in bulk of frame while still maintaining a sleek appearance.

What ever style of frame you choose, our optical departments will have a fashionable, affordable option that will suit your needs and keep you up-to-date with the current fashion trends.

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May 22, 2013

Lupus can be a devastating disease for the whole body, but can detrimentally affect the eyes as well. May is Lupus awareness month, so it’s important for us to focus on just how it can affect the eyes and what we can do to combat it.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease; it affects the eyes, skin, kidneys, joints, blood vessels, nervous system, and heart. Lupus attacks healthy tissue, resulting in flare-ups, inflammation, swelling, pain, fatigue, and tissue damage. Some of the most common eye diseases associated with lupus are: erythematosus (thickened rash over the eyelids), dry eye (if coupled with arthritis and dry mouth, it is called Sjogren’s Syndrome), retinal vasculitis (where blood supply to the retina is reduced and vision may be lost), scleritis (which can cause pain, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and red or dark spots on the eye), and optic neuritis (which is an inflammation of the area around the optic nerve, causing profound vision loss).Plaquenil and Methotrexate are immunosuppressive drugs used in treating lupus; they can adversely affect the eye by increasing the risk of infections, damaging the retina, and decreasing color vision perception. While these aren’t reasons to immediately stop these drugs, discussing your options with your primary doctor and your eye care specialist may best serve your ocular and overall health.

Many of the conditions described above can be treated or reduced effectively, especially with expedited treatment. It is important, if you have lupus, that you routinely follow with both a primary and an eye doctor to ensure your best chances of avoiding possibly blinding complications.

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Flashes and Floaters

May 15, 2013

Occasionally we can notice a squiggly line, a black dot, or a few minor flashes of light. When these occur, it can be very concerning and annoying. Often, floaters are a normal part of vision, especially as we age and in patients with high myopia. Though floaters and flashes can be a benign annoyance, they can signify conditions of grave concern, including uncontrolled hypertension and retinal detachments or tears. Because it is difficult for a patient to ascertain if a floater or flash of light is a signal of a more serious condition, evaluation is important for the most thorough and safest approach.


What are floaters?

Floaters are often specks, spots, lines, cobwebs, or squiggles which appear to be viewed in front of the eyes. In actuality, they occur in the vitreous jelly which fills the back of the eye. The vitreous will become stringy, forming floating threads or spots which can become visible, especially in certain lighting conditions. Often, patients are able to adapt to these annoyances and can see “around” them without issue.

Floaters will occasionally signify significant damage to the eye; floaters can signal many conditions from retinal hemorrhages to Posterior Vitreous Detachments (PVDs). PVDs are most often noted in patients over 70, though can rarely occur in much younger patients. A rapid onset of large andnumerous floaters, especially when combined with flashes of light, can signal an in-progress or impending retinal tear or detachment.

When to get checked:Any time you notice a change in vision, even a few floaters, it is a good idea to have an evaluation with your eyecare professional. However, it is especially important to be evaluated fully if you notice any of the following:

Floaters which occur suddenly or increase quickly over minutes to hoursFloaters coupled with flashes of lightFloaters that are especially large or numerousFloaters following trauma or injuries to the head or eyeA painless loss of vision, often described as a curtain coming across vision


What are flashes?

Flashes are the visualization of lights when no flashes of light are actually present. These may look like a camera flash, fireworks, flashes of lightning, or many tiny bright sparkling lights; these will often last for an instant to a few seconds, but may recur. Conversely, some patients will notice jagged, shimmering lights which remain a constant for fifteen minutes or more, often coupled with a headache; this is more often a symptom of an ocular migraine, but should also be evaluated by an eye care or neurological professional.Flashes of light are a medical emergency, especially if coupled with a loss of vision and/or an increase in floaters. While flashes may be benign, they are often noted with severe retinal complications, including retinal detachments and tears; both detachments and tears of the retina occur treatment immediately as any efforts to save vision may be worthless if the complication is left without treatment for an extended period of time. As with floaters, it is vital to be checked out if there is any sudden or distinct change or increase noted. It is important to be evaluated fully if you notice any of the following:

Flashes which occur suddenly or increase quickly over minutes to hoursFlashes of light accompanied by new floatersFlashes of light following trauma or injuries to the head or eyeFlashes of light that are especially numerousFlashes of light accompanied by a headacheA painless loss of vision, often described as a curtain coming across vision

Risk factors for both flashes and floaters are:Myopia (nearsightedness)Eye traumaDiabetesCataract surgery and YAG Laser Capsulotomy

A note about myopia: with the benefits of laser surgery (like LASIK), patients who were once highly myopic may forget that they remain at risk as they no longer require glasses; while laser vision correction does provide glasses-free vision, it treats the cornea, not the at-risk retina. While laser vision correction does not put patients at a higher risk for retinal detachments, it does nothing to change or reduce the risks the eye had prior to laser enhancement. This is why it is important to continue routine exams, including dilation, even if your vision is otherwise perfect.

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Miniblog: Sodium

May 10, 2013

Sodium is delicious. It’s flavorful, aides in food preservation, and is readily found in many of our foods. The typical American diet is laden with sodium. Unfortunately, excessive sodium can also vastly increase your risk for heart disease, obesity, and stroke. It can raise blood pressure and cause water retention, both factors in the increased rate of coronary complications. In addition, it can increase your risk of ocular complications including vision loss. It is advisable to reduce sodium consumption, limiting it to no more than 1500mg daily for adults with diagnosed heart conditions and 2300mg for otherwise healthy adults.

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Exercise, Diet, and Your Eyes!

May 8, 2013

We all need to make healthy approaches to our daily lives. While we, as a general rule, have a vast amount of nutritious foods available, our approach to our dietary health is not what it should be. In our busy lives it is very easy to be undernourished in vital minerals and vitamins while simultaneously being over-nourished in fats, carbohydrates, and sugars. While it is advisable to discuss any dietary or exercise changes with your primary doctor, most people can benefit from reducing dietary fats and sugars.

Promoting your eye health begins with your diet. Diets with adequate amounts of Omega-3s, Lutein, Zinc, and Vitamins C and E may reduce macular degeneration and early cataract development. Diets high in green, leafy vegetables and low-glycemic fruits can be especially beneficial, not only for diabetics, but also for the majority of people seeking to approach their health proactively. Taking a Mediterranean approach to eating (one where olive oil, natural fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are promoted) can not only be healthy for your eyes, it can be healthy for your heart! In the coming months, we’ll look at the Mediterranean diet in depth; stay tuned!

Making the choice to keep active is the first step in keeping healthy. While many patients have limitations on what type of exercise they can safely do, almost everyone is able to do some form of exercise. Often, the difference between a healthy adult and an unhealthy adult is 30 minutes of daily exercise. While checking with a medical professional prior to beginning a new exercise regimen is advised, most people can safely add any number of mild to moderately exertive exercises into their daily routine. Exercise doesn’t need to be especially excessive or strenuous and, above all, you should enjoy it! Mild stretching, walking or running, and lifting within your physical limitations can aide in keeping muscles from atrophy, increases your cognitive function, decreases the symptoms of certain diseases, can reduce your likelihood of developing certain diseases, and helps to keep you limber and functional well into old age!

What if someone told you that a moderate amount of daily exercise could improve your cognitive function? A new study has shown significant results in both animal and human test subjects; a moderate amount of exercise training has been linked with increased memory capabilities. Women who walked briskly multiple times a week have been shown to increase both spatial and verbal memory; women who focused on weight training showed an increase in spatial memory. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (or BDNF) increased during testing after six weeks in lab animals adhering to an endurance-training regimen; while weight-training lab animals did not show a similar increase, they did show an increased level of another protein, one which aided in the promotion of cell division and growth. This is great news for people who are concerned about their memory; while exercise alone won’t reverse the effects of age-based memory loss, it can aide in the reduction of its significance.

Examples of Endurance Exercises:

RunningPilates/yogaSwimmingAbdominal crunches on an exercise ballSit-ups/crunches with weighted medicine ballCyclingWalking

Examples of Weight Training Exercises:

Knee extensionsBicep curlsAbdominal crunches on an exercise ballSit-ups/crunches with weighted medicine ball

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Sunglasses and UV Awareness

May 1, 2013

Sunglasses can provide UV Protection for your eyes, reduce eyestrain in bright conditions, and protect you from flying debris and other hazards from outdoor conditions. Sunglasses can also provide visual comfort and clarity, depending on the lens you purchase. Having a quality pair of sunglasses can be vital to your overall ocular health in addition to providing clarity of vision and reducing glare. Ocular conditions like pinguecula, pterygium, cataracts, and ocular melanoma can be caused or made more severe by extensive unprotected exposure to sunlight.

UV Rays

UV rays can penetrate cells and cause mild to severe damage; UVA, UVB, and UVC rays can all be harmful, especially when no protection methods are adhered to. The amount of sunlight exposure and skin sensitivity will affect the redness of the skin; DNA damage can be directly caused by UVB light y causing aberrant covalent bonds (an abnormality) between DNA molecules in the skin cells. DNA then replicates with a mutation in it which can then result in cancerous growth. The DNA replication damage has a signature on it that points to UV light as the cause. Sunscreen blocks UVB, an important factor in reducing skin cancers, including skin cancers around the ocular area.

UVB light can be hazardous to the health of the eye itself, in addition to causing complications to the skin surrounding the eye. Photokeratitis, or arc eye, is frequently noted in welders; this condition is highly preventable condition caused by intense UV exposure without adequate protection. Pterygia and pingueculae may form from prolonged, unprotected exposure to sunlight, wind, and other outdoor conditions. Cataracts and certain ocular melanomas may be caused or expedited in development by long-term exposure to UV light.

Prevention is key in the fight against conditions and diseases related to UV exposure. Quality UV-protecting eyewear is vital for providing a barrier through which harmful rays cannot pass, or through which they have a difficult time passing. Investing in a quality pair of sunglasses (and protective eyewear if you do welding work) is an investment in your eye health; while they may be more costly than an inexpensive pair, quality lenses last longer and provide more protection for your eye health and eyesight

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