Blog

How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Glasses

Glasses are not only a necessity for some, but they can also be a fashion statement. However, with so many different styles and shapes of glasses on the market, it can be difficult to know how to choose the perfect pair. In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to find the right glasses for your face shape, style, and budget.

Face Shape

The first step in choosing the perfect pair of glasses is to determine your face shape. The most common face shapes are oval, round, square, and heart-shaped. To figure out your face shape, take a look at yourself in the mirror and pull your hair back so that you can see your natural features. Then, use a ruler or tape measure to determine the width and length of your face. Once you have your measurements, refer to the descriptions below to find your face shape.

Oval:

If your face is longer than it is wide, have a round jaw line and chin, and your forehead is the widest part of your face, then you have an oval-shaped face. Oval faces are considered to be versatile when it comes to choosing glasses because almost any style looks good on them. However, avoid frames that are too wide as they will make your face look even longer.

Round:

If your face is as wide as it is long and you have full cheeks, then you have a round-shaped face. Round faces often look best in glasses that are wider than they are tall with straight or angular lines. This will help to elongate your face and make it appear thinner. Avoid round frames as they will only accentuate the roundness of your face.

Square:

If your face is as long as it is wide with a strong jawline, then you have a square-shaped face. Square faces look best in glasses that are wider than they are tall with soft, rounded edges. This will help to soften the angles of your jawline and make your face appear more balanced. Avoid boxy or rectangular frames as they will only accentuate the squareness of your face.

Heart:

If your face is wider at the top with a narrow chin, and your forehead and cheekbones are the widest part of your face, then you have a heart-shaped face. Heart-shaped faces look best in glasses that are wider at the bottom with soft, rounded edges. This will help to balance out the width of your forehead and make your chin appear more pronounced. Avoid small frames as they will make your forehead appear even larger.

Style

Now that you know what shape of glasses will flatter your facial features, it’s time to think about what style you want. Do you want something classic? Trendy? Funky? The options are endless! To help narrow down your choices, think about what kind of clothing you typically wear. If you tend to dress more conservatively, then classic styles such as wayfarers or aviators would be a good choice for you. If you like to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, then opt for something more trendy like cat-eye or oversized frames. And if you like to express yourself through fashion, then funky styles such as colored frames or clear lenses would be perfect for you! Just remember to choose something that reflects your personal style so that you feel confident and comfortable wearing them every day.

Budget

The last thing to consider when choosing glasses is budget. Glasses can range in price from $15 to over $500 depending on the brand, style, material, and prescription strength (if needed). It’s important to find something that fits both your needs and your budget so that you don’t end up spending more than necessary or being stuck with a pair of glasses that you don’t love because they were too cheap. A good rule of thumb is to set a budget before you start shopping so that you know how much money you have available to spend and can narrow down your choices accordingly without going over budget or breaking the bank!

Choosing the perfect pair of glasses can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be! By following these simple guidelines—face shape, style , and budget—you can easily find the perfect pair of glasses for YOU! So don’t wait any longer…go out there and find those perfect frames today!

How to Choose the Best Optometry Clinic for You

When it comes to eye care, you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible service. But with so many optometry clinics out there, how can you be sure you’re making the right choice? Here are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing an optometry clinic: 

Location 

The first thing to consider is the location of the clinic. You want to choose a clinic that’s conveniently located so that you can easily get there for appointments. If you have to travel a long distance, you may be less likely to keep up with your appointments. 

Services Offered 

Another thing to consider is the services offered by the clinic. Some clinics only offer basic eye exams while others also offer contact lens fittings, vision therapy, and more. Make sure to choose a clinic that offers the services you need. 

Insurance Accepted 

You’ll also want to make sure the clinic accepts your insurance. This will help reduce your out-of-pocket costs. To find out which clinics in your area accept your insurance, simply call your insurance company and ask for a list of providers. 

Reviews 

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, take some time to read online reviews. This will give you an idea of what previous patients have thought about their experience at the clinic. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews so that you can get a well-rounded picture of what to expect. 

Ask for Recommendations 

If you know anyone who has recently gone to an optometry clinic, ask for their recommendation. They may be able to tell you about their experience and whether or not they would recommend the clinic to others. 

Making Your Decision 

After considering all of these factors, it’s time to make your decision. Keep in mind that it’s important to choose a clinic that you feel comfortable with as you’ll be spending a lot of time there. Once you’ve made your choice, schedule an appointment and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re getting the best possible care for your eyes!

Choosing an optometry clinic doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what factors to consider. By keeping location, services offered, insurance accepted, and reviews in mind, you can be sure that you’re making the best decision for your needs.

man with glasses

The Benefits of Routine Eye Exams

It’s no secret that our sense of sight is one of the most precious gifts we have been given. And yet, many of us take our vision for granted and don’t give it the importance it deserves. Scheduling routine eye exams is one of the best ways to protect your vision and ensure that any problems are caught early on. Here are just a few of the benefits of routine eye exams.

Early Detection of Disease

One of the most important benefits of routine eye exams is that they can help to detect diseases in their earliest stages, when they are most treatable. Many eye diseases show no symptoms in their early stages, so you might not even realize there’s a problem until it’s too late. During a routine eye exam, your doctor will check for signs of disease and can refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Evaluation of Vision Changes

As we age, it’s not uncommon for our vision to change. If you’ve noticed that you’re having difficulty reading or driving at night, scheduling an eye exam is a good idea. Your doctor will be able to determine whether these changes are due to an underlying condition or simply part of the normal aging process. In either case, your eye doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment. 

Improved Overall Health

 Believe it or not, your eyes can actually offer clues about your overall health. Conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes often first manifest themselves in changes to the eyes, so routine eye exams can help catch these conditions early on. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to see your doctor regularly, even if you think everything is fine.

Routine eye exams offer a lot of benefits and should be schedule at least once a year. Not only can they help to detect disease in its earliest stages, but they can also evaluate vision changes and improve overall health. So don’t wait – schedule an appointment with your optometrist today!

Older man holding is glasses in one hand

AMD Awareness Month

AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is a common eye disease that can cause vision loss as you age. The macula is the part of your retina responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision, and when it becomes damaged, AMD can cause your central vision to blur. AMD doesn’t lead to complete blindness, but losing your central vision can make it difficult to see faces, read, drive, or do close-up work. While AMD can’t be cured, there are treatments available that can help slow its progression. You can also take steps to reduce your risk of developing AMD in the first place. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for older adults in the United States

Types of AMD

There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. The vast majority of people with AMD have the dry form, which is characterized by a thinning of the macula as you age. Dry AMD usually progresses slowly over several years. There is no treatment for late-stage dry AMD. You can find ways to make the most of your remaining vision. If you only have AMD in one eye, there are steps you can take to protect your vision in the other eye.

Wet AMD is a more severe form of the disease that can lead to rapid vision loss if left untreated. Wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing under the retina and leaking fluid or blood into the surrounding tissue.

Symptoms

According to the National Eye Institute, the symptoms of AMD depend on the stage.

Dry AMD happens in three stages: early, intermediate, and late.

-Early dry AMD doesn’t cause any symptoms.

-In intermediate dry AMD, some people still have no symptoms. Others may notice mild symptoms, like mild blurriness in their central vision or trouble seeing in low lighting.

-In late-stage (wet or dry), many people notice that straight lines start to look wavy or crooked. You may also notice a blurry area near the center of your vision.

Treatments

There is no cure for AMD but there are treatments available that can help slow its progression. Treatment options include prescription medications, vitamins and supplements, and laser surgery. If you’re worried that you may have AMD, it’s important to see an eye doctor for a diagnosis – early detection and treatment is key in preserving your vision.

How can we diagnose AMD?

We invested in Maculogix’ Adapt DX Pro to test patients for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). With 20 years of clinical research behind it, this non-invasive device is one of the most accurate tools to detect early signs of AMD. It automatically aligns with the eye to capture an accurate measurement of dark adaptation speed. Dark adaptation is the automatic adjustment of the eye from bright light to low light, involving reflex dilation of the pupil. Dark adaptation speed is a key metric to diagnose early signs of AMD because the healthy eye adapts relatively quickly from bright light to darkness while the process can be very slow in the eyes with AMD.

Routine tests with Maculogix’ Adapt DX take about 5 min (compared to around an hour or more with other devices).

Older man with glasses on a green background

Glaucoma Awareness Month: The Sneak Thief of Sight

Now is the time to learn more about glaucoma and how it can affect your vision. Although glaucoma is not as well known as other eye diseases, such as cataracts or macular degeneration, it still affects millions of people in the United States and causes irreversible blindness. If you want to know what glaucoma does and how you can protect your eyes from this disease, keep reading!

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve. This can lead to vision loss and blindness, although there are often no symptoms until it’s too late. Once glaucoma damages the optic nerve, it can’t be repaired. This is why regular eye exams are so important! If glaucoma has already damaged part of your optic nerves, you might not notice any changes in vision until a lot of damage has been done.

The National Eye Institute projects that by 2030, more than four million people in the United States will have glaucoma. That’s almost a 33% increase from today!

Who is more at risk?

Glaucoma is called the sneak thief of sight since it damages vision without warning. There are glaucoma risk factors, though. One glaucoma risk factor is family history, especially in people who have had glaucoma previously or glaucoma at an early age. People with diabetes are also at higher risk for developing glaucoma than those who don’t have diabetes.

Glaucoma is more common in African Americans and Latinos than Caucasians. In fact, glaucoma is six to eight times more common in African Americans than Caucasians. If you’re part of one of these populations, it’s important to be especially vigilant about getting screened for glaucoma on a regular basis.

How do you know if you have glaucoma?

In many cases, there aren’t any symptoms to watch out for until a lot of damage has already been done and your eyesight starts getting worse without explanation so regular screening by an eye doctor is important!

Advanced signs of glaucoma can include:

  • Cloudy, yellow vision. This is because glaucoma damages the optic nerve and causes it to swell up. Sometimes people with glaucoma describe this as a cloud or fog that blocks their vision even though they have perfect eyesight.
  • Peripheral vision (the area outside the center of sight) begins to blur over time, making straight lines look wavy – especially when both eyes are affected by glaucoma.
  • Pain in the eye or in the head
  • Seeing halos around lights at night or bright colors like blue as grey.
  • If you are experiencing the above symptoms, contact your optometrist immediately.

What can be done to prevent Glaucoma?

  • Get regular eye exams to catch glaucoma before it catches you.
  • Talk to your eye doctor if you are taking steroid medication. Long-term use of steroids is likely to raise eye pressure and can lead to glaucoma.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Protect your eyes from injury and sunlight.
  • Monitor your gums. Researches show a link between gum diseases and glaucoma.
Two hands on purple background

Eyepic Eyecare: Bringing Awareness to Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Research shows that an annual, routine eye exam could prevent 95% of vision loss caused by diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Eyepic Eye Care is reiterating the importance of eye exams during the month of November, which is observed as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month.

What is the leading cause of blindness in the United States?

Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States among adults aged 20 to 74 and is the fifth most common cause of preventable blindness globally. Among the 30 million Americans with diabetes, about one-third have diabetic retinopathy, the potentially blinding complication of diabetes.

People typically don’t notice changes in their vision in the disease’s early stages. But as it progresses, diabetic retinopathy usually causes vision loss that in many cases cannot be reversed. That’s why it’s so important that everyone with diabetes has yearly exams for early detection. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consistently reports that less than two-thirds of people with diabetes undergo their recommended annual dilated ophthalmic examination. These rates are even lower among children and adolescents with diabetes, with less than half of youth with type 2 diabetes receiving an examination within six years of diagnosis.

Am I at risk for diabetes?

Many people live with prediabetes and diabetes without knowing it. That is because early symptoms can be easy to miss and is why Eyepic Eyecare is stressing the importance of an annual comprehensive eye exam. An annual comprehensive eye exam is critical for the prevention and early detection of eye complications related to diabetes. Take the risk test, which is a 60-second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test, provided by the American Diabetes Association.

What are some of the warning signs of diabetic eye disease?

Some diabetic eye diseases have no signs or symptoms until they are too obvious to ignore, which might present as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dark spots or “holes”
  • Flashes of light
  • Seeing an increased amount of floaters
  • Poor night vision

How can I learn more about Diabetic Eye Disease and the diabetes community?

The following video features some of the American Diabetes Association’s healthy vision ambassadors, also known as “champions”. Patricia shares her story of diabetic vision loss, Natalie shares her story of living with diabetic retinopathy, and Roger shares his story of living with Type 2 diabetes. In these stories, you can learn more as these people share their experiences and the risk of diabetes-related eye disease directly from the leading voices in the field.

“We all live busy lives. When patients with diabetes are told nothing is wrong during their first eye exams, are asymptomatic, and have difficulty taking time off work, it’s easy to see how coming in for yet another health appointment might be deprioritized if the risks aren’t communicated to the patient,” said Ravi Parikh, MD, MPH, the study’s senior author. “The health care system as it stands today is not equipped to handle missed exams effectively. Maintaining follow-up exams also is a real problem.”

To schedule your routine eye exam, give us a call or request an appointment at the Eyepic Eyecare location nearest you.

Student looking at laptop

Eye Health Tips For Students From Your Eye Doctor

Students face special challenges to the eyes when they are under academic performance pressure. Lack of sleep, prolonged computer use, and long hours of studying make for tired eyes that are dry, scratchy, and achy. Because of this, Eyepic Eye Care has eye health tips from an actual eye doctor.

Prolonged computer use contributes to eye fatigue because you blink less frequently. Less blinking significantly reduces lubrication in the eye making it feel tired, scratchy, and “dry” as a result. Also, eyes are not designed for prolonged focus on a single object, such as the computer. Remedy: place a note on the computer screen as a reminder to blink and look away from the screen and focus on objects in the distance.  Looking out a window (20 – 20 – 20 rule:  for every 20 minutes of computer work, look away for 20 seconds, and focus on a scene or object at least 20 feet away) is a good break for the eyes. The key is to give your eyes a rest.

Dry eye” is a common feeling from not giving your eyes enough rest while some people just naturally do not produce enough tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. Some common symptoms of dry eye are stinging and burning to the eyes, scratchiness, excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind, and excessive tearing. Remedy: If you have occasional symptoms of dry eye, you should try eye drops called artificial tears. These are similar to your own tears and help lubricate the eyes and maintain moisture. For persistent “dry eye,” see your eye doctor.

Contact Lenses and Sleep Deprivation 

When a contact-lens wearer stays awake studying for 18-20 hours or more with their contacts in, it’s almost the equivalent of sleeping with contacts in, something that your eye doctor warns against. Prolonged wearing of your contact lenses is a problem for people who wear regular hydrogen lenses since traditional hydrogels are relatively less permeable to oxygen than newer alternatives like silicone hydrogels. The eye needs oxygen to keep it healthy. Without regular exposure to oxygen, the eye’s cornea can become inflamed and the vision blurry. Prolonged contact lens use can even lead to infections or corneal ulcers that in the worst case can permanently damage vision. 

Sometimes students fall asleep without knowing it (with their contacts in) while studying. Remedy: Alternate wearing contact lenses with the use of eyeglasses during long study periods. Also, students with irregular sleep patterns can wear contact lenses made of silicon hydrogen, a new material with improved oxygen permeability, which may reduce the risk of infection and discomfort.

Man holding his head

Screen Time in the Workplace: Protect Your Eyes from Digital Eye Strain

The research found that the average office worker spends 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen. And that doesn’t include our addiction to phones and other digital devices. All this screen time has led to an increase in complaints of eye strain, dry eye, headaches, and insomnia. Eyepic Eye Care and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are offering tips to desk workers everywhere whose eyes may need relief from too much screen time and to protect their eyes from digital eye strain.

What is digital eye strain?

Eye strain can mean different things to different people. “Eye strain is more of a symptom than an actual condition,” explains Laurie Barber, MD, a comprehensive ophthalmologist in Little Rock, Ark. “People use the term differently. One person may mean their eyes are tired or watery, while another may have blurred vision. Some people may have headaches they attribute to eye strain, and others may have facial muscle fatigue from squinting for long periods because they are not wearing the correct glasses.”

Digital eye strain includes a collection of eye problems that can happen after staring at a screen for too long. Symptoms can include blurry vision, headaches, and tired, dry eyes.

Why does computer use strain the eyes more than reading print material?

Mainly because people tend to blink less while using computers. Focusing the eyes on computer screens or other digital displays has been shown to reduce a person’s blink rate by a third to a half, which tends to dry out the eyes. We also tend to view digital devices at less than ideal distances or angles. As children are spending more time in front of devices, it is important to know if you are protecting your children’s eyes from digital eye strain as well. For more on children’s digital eye strain, click here.

What can I do to get relief from digital eye strain?

You don’t need to buy expensive computer glasses to get relief. In fact, a recent study concluded that blue light filters are no more effective at reducing the symptoms of digital eye strain than a neutral filter. Instead, try altering your environment with these simple tips:

  • Keep your distance: The eyes actually have to work harder to see close up than far away. Try keeping the monitor or screen at arm’s length, about 25 inches away. Position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
  • Reduce glare: Glass screens can produce glare that can aggravate the eye. Try using a matte screen filter.
    Adjust lighting: If a screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
  • Give your eyes a break: Remember to blink and follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking into the distance allows your eyes to relax.
  • Keep eyes moist: Keep artificial tears at hand to help lubricate your eyes when they feel dry. Consider using a desktop humidifier. Office buildings have humidity-controlled environments that suck moisture out of the air. In winter, heaters on high can further dry your eyes.
  • Stop using devices before bed: There is evidence that blue light may affect the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle. During the day, blue light wakes us up and stimulates us. So, too much blue light exposure late at night from your phone or other devices may make it harder to get to sleep. Limit screen time one to two hours before bedtime. Use nighttime settings on devices and computers that minimize blue light exposure.

Is digital eye strain from computer usage serious?

“Eyestrain can be frustrating. But it usually isn’t serious and goes away once you rest your eyes or take other steps to reduce your eye discomfort,” said Dianna L. Seldomridge, M.D. “If these tips don’t work for you, you may have an underlying eye problem, such as eye muscle imbalance or uncorrected vision, which can cause or worsen computer eyestrain.”

Those experiencing consistently dry red eyes or eye pain should visit an ophthalmologist, a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye care. Schedule an appointment today.

Halloween safety drawing

Halloween Eye Safety Month

October is here, which means costume planning has begun! Whether you are dressing up for an office costume contest, trick-or-treating, or festive parties, you must be vigilant when it comes to eye safety, for yourself, family, and friends, which is why we are celebrating Halloween Eye Safety Month with the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Spooky contact lenses, extravagant eyelashes, and eye makeup/cosmetics can complete your Halloween costume but beware of the dangers that can befall your eyes, such as infections and in some cases vision loss.

How can I know if contact lenses are illegal?

Here’s an easy way to tell if your costume contact lenses are counterfeit: Can you purchase them without a prescription? If the answer is yes, those creepy lenses are a danger to your vision. Eyepic Eyecare urges people to buy decorative contact lenses only from retailers who require a prescription and sell FDA-approved products.

It’s easy to forget that decorative lenses are medical devices, not costume jewelry. They must be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional, just like regular contact lenses. That’s because a poorly fitted contact lens can easily scrape the cornea, the outer layer of the eye, making the eye more vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria and viruses. Research shows that people who purchase contacts without a prescription face a 16-fold increased risk of developing an infection.

Halloween eye safety tips: contact lenses

To help ensure you won’t be haunted by a ghoulish and painful contact lens-related eye infection, here are some Halloween costume and eye safety tips from our friends at the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

  • See an eye care professional to get a prescription for costume contact lenses. Packaging that claims “one size fits all” or “no need to see an eye doctor” is false. Get properly fitted by an ophthalmologist (physicians and surgeons who specialize in medical and surgical eye care) or optometrist (healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care).
  • Buy only FDA-approved products. Buy contacts only from eye care professionals or retailers that require a prescription and sell FDA-approved lenses.
  • Never share contacts. Sharing contacts can spread germs and bacteria, potentially causing blinding corneal infections and even pink eye. Again, contact lenses not fitted for your eye can cause vision-threatening damage.
  • Practice good hygiene. It is important to follow directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing costume contacts. See an ophthalmologist right away if you notice any swelling, redness, pain, or discharge from wearing contacts. Watch this one-minute video that highlights proper contact lens wear and care.
  • Limit wear of colored contact lenses to four or five hours. The dye and less expensive materials used in costume lenses can restrict oxygen flow to the cornea. Less “breathable” lenses are less healthy for the eye. Never sleep in contact lenses, even if you have a prescription.
  • Spread the word to others about the dangers of costume contacts. Don’t let friends make the mistake of wearing costume contacts without a prescription. It can cost them their vision.

“It’s easy to buy these inexpensive contact lenses on impulse, forgetting that they are medical devices, not costume jewelry,” Thomas L. Steinemann, MD said. “We don’t want to ruin your Halloween, just get a prescription first and only buy FDA-approved lenses.”

WHAT’S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN IF I WEAR COUNTERFEIT COLORED CONTACTS?

Julian Hamlin is a prime example of what can happen when using counterfeit colored contact lenses. He lost vision in his left eye after an infection from decorative colored contact lenses. He’s had multiple cornea transplants, secondary glaucoma, and cataract. Watch the video below for more information on what happened to Julian and the consequences of wearing illegal costume contact lenses. Though the federal government works to keep illegal and harmful versions of decorative or color contact lenses off the shelves, they can still be purchased at costume shops, gas stations, corner shops, and online retailers, including Amazon.

Halloween eye safety tips: eyelash extensions

Eyelash extensions are part of everyday life for some people; however, those venturing to extend their lashes for Halloween for the first time should be aware of the facts and safety precautions to promote eye safety and avoid the risks, namely: trauma or infection of the eyelid or cornea, allergic reaction to the glue, and permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes. There are three primary types of eyelash extensions, including synthetic, silk, and mink, which are typically applied by a beauty technician using tweezers and a specially formulated semi-permanent glue. “To keep the eyes safe, lashes should be applied by an experienced aesthetician in a sanitary setting, with chemicals that are safe for your skin,” Nashville ophthalmologist Rebecca J. Taylor, MD said. “Remember that a sharp object is being used very close to your eye.”

HOW TO DO EYELASH EXTENSIONS THE RIGHT WAY

Last minute eyelash extensions are something that you want to avoid. To keep your eyes protected this spooky season or every other day, you should take the time and find a reputable, safe shop or salon and an experienced aesthetician. Once you locate those two, you should also complete your due diligence by researching the ingredients of the products that will be used on your eyelashes to ensure there are no allergens. Here are some questions to consider before getting eyelash extensions:

  • Does the salon have a good reputation? How long have they been in business, and do they practice good hygiene? Read reviews and look at before-and-after photos from other customers.
  • What training, certification, and experience does the aesthetician have in lash extensions?
  • Ask for the glue’s ingredient list and check it for allergens. Confirm the expiration date has not passed. Request a spot test on the inside of your wrist before the glue is applied to your eyes.

If you do have an allergic reaction to your extensions, do not remove them yourself, and do not try to treat the reaction on your own. You can damage your eyes and doing something incorrectly can make your symptoms last longer. Contact an ophthalmologist immediately.

Halloween eye safety tips: eye makeup/cosmetics

What is a Halloween costume without makeup? We know that almost all good costumes require makeup of some sort and that you want to win the costume party this year, so here are some tips to keep your eyes safe for your Halloween extravaganzas (and for every day):

  • Skip on painting your eyes and only use makeup/cosmetics designed for use around the eyes.
  • Avoid products that contain untested or harsh chemicals.
  • Introduce only one new eye makeup or care product at a time, especially if you tend to have allergic reactions easily. Don’t add another new product until you know you’re not reacting to the first one. This might mean planning out your costume way ahead of time, but it’s worth it to avoid allergic reactions which could keep you from your Halloween party altogether.
  • If you develop an eye infection, like pink eye, immediately toss all of your eye makeup and don’t use eye makeup until the infection is gone.
  • If you notice an allergic reaction to makeup:
    • Find out what the ingredients are so you can watch out for them in other products.
    • Let your doctor know. Your doctor may know about products that are prone to causing reactions, and about gentler alternatives.
  • Clean your face and eyelids well before applying makeup.
  • Sharing is not caring when it comes to eye makeup/cosmetics. Never share eye makeup, even with family or close friends.
  • Always apply makeup outside the lash line, away from the eye, to avoid blocking the oil glands of the upper or lower eyelid. These glands secrete oil that protects the eye’s surface.
  • Even if you are running late, never apply makeup while in a moving vehicle.
  • If your lashes are clumped together by mascara or another product, do not use anything sharp to separate the lashes. You can easily poke or scratch your eye this way.
  • Remove makeup from around the eyes carefully, which can be done effectively with vaseline or baby shampoo.

EYE MAKEUP AND COSMETIC PRODUCT WARNINGS: POWDERS, GLITTERS, AND SHADOWS

The AAO warns people to be careful with metallic, glitter, and sparkle eye makeup and cosmetic powders, shadows or other product, as flakes can fall into your eyes which can make their way into your tear film and irritate your eyes. In fact, glitter eye makeup is a common cause of corneal irritation or infection, especially for those who also wear contact lenses. In some cases, larger glitter flakes have been known to scratch the eye, which is comparable to getting sand or dirt stuck in your eye.

Follow these basic eye safety tips when working with eye makeup and cosmetics this spooky season and you should be in good shape. Want to know more about eye makeup tips for people with sensitive eyes? We’ve got you covered, click here to keep learning.

EYE MAKEUP AND COSMETIC PRODUCT WARNINGS: HEATED EYELASH CURLERS

While the mechanical curler can get the job done, some want that extra “oomph”, which is why heated eyelash curlers are sought out. People should keep in mind that too much heat around the eye, curlers typically ranging from 100 to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause damage to the skin around the eye, cause lashes to fall out, or even damage the eye itself permanently.

“Human skin can sustain first-degree burns at 118 degrees Fahrenheit and second-degree burns at 131 degrees. Since the skin of the eyelids is especially thin, it will damage easier and at lower temperatures,” Natasha Herz, MD said. “Even more concerning is if the hand of the user isn’t so steady or accidentally bumps against something, causing the curling iron to touch the conjunctiva or cornea. This would cause a thermal injury that, at best, will take a week to heal. If it causes a burn in the center of the cornea, over the pupil, and in the line of sight, it can cause a scar that will cause permanent loss of vision.”

Have any questions about how to better protect your eyes this Halloween? Get in touch with our team of eye care professionals and we would be more than happy to help.

Man smiling with eyewear

Age-Related Macular Degeneration 101

More than 2 million Americans are living with the most advanced forms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a number that is expected to reach 4.4 million by 2050. It is the leading cause of blindness among white Americans over 40, and it’s a leading cause of irreversible vision loss throughout the world.

What is age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration happens when part of the retina, called the macula, is damaged. It’s the part of the eye that delivers sharp, central vision needed to see objects straight ahead. Over time, the loss of central vision can interfere with everyday activities, such as the ability to drive, read, and see faces clearly. Because AMD often has no early warning signs, getting regular comprehensive eye exams from an ophthalmologist is critical. There are two types of AMD.

What are the two types of age-related macular degeneration?

DRY AMD

Dry age-related macular degeneration is the more common form of AMD. Close to 80 percent (eight out of ten) of people who have AMD develop the dry type. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow, causing people to slowly lose their central vision. There is no treatment for dry AMD; however, there are some vitamins and minerals that can slow dry AMD if taken on. daily basis (see below).

WET AMD

Wet age-related macular degeneration is the least common type of AMD, but is the far more serious type. Wet AMD develops when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina, sometimes leaking blood or other fluids, which can cause scarring of the macula. Vision loss is quicker with wet AMD than it is with dry AMD.

Who is at risk for age-related macular degeneration?

You are more likely to develop AMD if you:

  • Are 60 years old or older, but AMD can occur earlier
  • Eat a diet high in saturated fat, such as meat, butter, and cheese
  • Smoke, smokers have double the risk of developing AMD
  • Are overweight
  • Have hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Have heart disease
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Are Caucasian, AMD is more common in Caucasians
  • Have AMD in the family, because there are more than 20 genes linked to AMD

This is how AMD can appear, simulation provided by AAO.

What are age-related macular degeneration symptoms?

Age-related macular degeneration symptoms can include:

  • Blurred or “fuzzy” vision
  • Straight lines, such as sentences on a page, appearing wavy or distorted
  • Blurry areas on a printed page
  • Difficulty reading or seeing details in low light levels
  • Extra sensitivity to glare

Should I get an age-related macular degeneration screening?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology guidelines state that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40 — the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. From age 40 to 54, get your eyes examined every 2 to 4 years; from 55 to 64, every 1 to 3 years. By age 65, get an exam every one to two years, even in the absence of symptoms or eye problems. If you have risk factors for eye disease, you will need to be examined more frequently.

Ophthalmologists are physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care. These eye doctors have more tools than ever before to diagnose AMD earlier, and to treat it better. But these advances cannot help patients whose disease is undiagnosed, or patients who are unaware of the seriousness of their disease.

“People’s lack of understanding about AMD is a real danger to public health,” said Rahul N. Khurana, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “As the number of people with AMD is expected to explode in the coming years, it’s more important than ever that we prioritize eye health and have our eyes examined regularly.”

Can vitamins and minerals help with age-related macular degeneration?

Vitamins and minerals can help some people with dry AMD keep their vision longer. While their is no treatment for dry AMD, these vitamins and supplements can help slow dry AMD, if taken on a daily basis:

  • Vitamin C (500 mg)
  • Vitamin E (400 IU)
  • Lutein (10 mg)
  • Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
  • Zinc (80 mg)
  • Copper (2 mg)

If you have questions about dry AMD or about taking these vitamins and minerals to help with dry AMD, please contact our ophthalmologist. They will be able to tell you if vitamins and minerals are recommended for your dry AMD. Not all forms will benefit from supplements. Beta carotene should not be used by smokers as it raised the risk of lung cancer.

How you can reduce your risk of AMD

There are several things people can do to reduce their risk of AMD, including:

  • Eating eye-healthy foods such as dark leafy greens, yellow fruits and vegetables, fish, and a balanced, nutrient-rich diet (these have also been shown beneficial for people with AMD)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get regular eye exams

If you believe you have AMD or have questions about this eye disease, schedule an appointment with one of our eye care specialists today. It is never too early or too late to prioritize healthy vision. Start today and let Eyepic Eyecare help with your vision journey.

To see an age-related macular degeneration example through a simulator, visit American Academy of Ophthalmology. This reliable resource has several videos, including an explainer video that tells you more about what AMD can look like for you.