we now offer special effects contact lenses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

colorful contact lenses definitely add a little extra flair to your costume if you’re planning to be a zombie, vampire or other fictional creature for halloween. unfortunately, wearing over-the-counter lenses for just one evening could harm your eyes.

novelty contact lenses may increase your risk of eye injury and infection

the u.s. food and drug administration (fda) regulates contact lens sales to ensure that the lenses are safe to wear. many novelty lenses haven’t received fda approval and are brought into the country illegally. those lenses may contain bacteria and other contaminants or may be poorly made.

novelty lenses are often available in one size only. unfortunately, everyone’s eyes aren’t the same size. wearing lenses that don’t fit your eyes properly can lead to scratches or sores on your cornea, the clear layer of tissue that covers your iris and pupil. if scars develop as a result of infections or sores, your vision may never be the same again.

signs that may indicate an infection or eye injury include:

  • pain
  • change in vision or double vision
  • sensitivity to light
  • redness
  • burning or itching
  • discharge
  • constant tearing
  • foreign body sensation

buying prescription lenses offers a safer solution

the safest lenses are those approved by the fda and prescribed by an optometrist. during your appointment, your eye doctor measures the curvature of your cornea and the size of your irises and pupil to determine the ideal lens size for you. it’s important to visit an eye doctor whether you need contacts to see better or just want to wear the lenses as part of a halloween costume.

your optometrist or his staff will also teach you how to insert, remove and safely care for your lenses. infections can occur if you don’t follow proper care instructions, even if your lenses were prescribed by an optometrist.

9 tips that will help protect your eyes this halloween

keep these tips in mind if you’re interested in changing the color or appearance of your eyes to compliment your halloween costume:

  • see an optometrist for an eye examination and contact lens fitting.
  • buy your lenses from a company that requires a prescription from an eye doctor.
  • don’t wear costume lenses overnight.
  • wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
  • follow your optometrist’s cleaning and disinfecting instructions to prevent infections.
  • put your lenses in before you apply halloween makeup. at the end of the night, take out your contacts before you remove your makeup.
  • remove the lenses if they’re uncomfortable or irritate your eyes.
  • call your optometrist immediately if you notice any signs of an infection or inflammation.
  • don’t share contact lenses with your friends, even if they’re non-prescription. sharing lenses can increase your risk of infection.

would a pair of colorful contacts be the perfect finishing touch for your halloween costume? don’t put your vision at risk by purchasing over-the-counter novelty contact lenses. contact us to schedule a contact lens examination with an optometrist.

 

Exciting New Contact Lens Innovations Are Here!!!

An estimated 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses, many of them to improve their vision, but did you know that contact lenses can be used for other purposes, too? Exciting new advances in contact lens technology are able to provide more comfort while providing additional benefits such as enhancing/augmenting your eye color or helping counteract sensitivity to light. Even for people who don’t need vision improvements, plano/non-corrective lenses are available which can offer these benefits. Let’s explore some of the latest advances!


ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™

ACUVUE OASYS Transitions

Similar to photochromic optical lenses that darken on exposure to specific types of light of sufficient intensity, most commonly ultraviolet (UV) radiation, these new lenses by ACUVUE provide the same benefit. They are designed to dynamically filter and reduce exposure to bright light, indoors and outdoors. They also offer the highest level of UV protection in contact lenses! As an added benefit, these lenses also help filter blue light, which helps reduce eye strain. The benefits also extend into the night, reducing haloes and starbursts to provide continued crisp, clear vision. Change to the appearance of the eye is minimal and, in most situations, the lens isn’t in the darkest state. The lenses also fade back to clear quickly when exposure to light is reduced. These 2-week lenses are now available and can be fitted during your comprehensive eye exam. Standard fitting fees apply.


DAILIES COLORS®

DAILIES COLORS

Ready to play with your eye color every day? With the new DAILIES COLORS® lenses from Alcon you can switch things up for that special occasion, date night, or any other time you want! Unlike 2-week and monthly lenses that expire 2 weeks or one month after you open them, these lenses are designed to wear once and dispose or recycle. This is ideal for wearers who only occasionally want to augment/enhance their eye color, as well as regular wearers interested in color lenses who enjoy the extra comfort provided by dailes over longer-wear lenses. The new lenses come in 4 colors and include a more defined outer ring that enhances the look of your eyes.

Available options include Mystic Blue, Mystic Green, Mystic Hazel, and Mystic Grey.

Want to see what you’d look like in color lenses? The Alcon Color Studio is a great place to start! Take a photo and virtually try on the available lenses to discover what options may work best for you. The studio also includes the full range of monthly AIR OPTIX COLORS® options, which are great for longer wear!

These daily lenses are now available and can be fitted during your comprehensive eye exam. Standard fitting fees apply. If you have already been fitted for DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® lenses, no refit is necessary to order DAILIES COLORS®!


the truth about marijuana and glaucoma

there is a lot of focus in the u.s. and around the world on the potentially helpful aspects of using marijuana in medicine. much of the research is promising, although there are risks and unknowns when it comes to medical marijuana.

one specific area where there’s attention is on marijuana and glaucoma.

so, does marijuana help glaucoma? below is more information on this condition, and also specifics on marijuana and glaucoma and their potential relationship to one another.

what is glaucoma?

before looking at the particulars of marijuana and glaucoma and answering “does marijuana help glaucoma,” what is this condition?

glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve and can ultimately lead to loss of vision and blindness. in most people, glaucoma affects both eyes, although some people may experience the condition being worse in one eye. there are two primary categories of glaucoma. the first is open-angle and the second is closed-angle.

with closed-angle glaucoma, the person will usually have relatively sudden pain and vision loss, but since there is a lot of pain with this type, the person usually gets medical treatment quickly so it can help prevent permanent damage.

with primary open-angle glaucoma, also often called chronic glaucoma, there is a slow progression, and many symptoms aren’t noticed including minimal vision loss. because of how slowly this progresses people often don’t get treatment for the condition until there’s already permanent damage.

one of the primary reasons people feel pain when they have glaucoma is because of the high levels of pressure in the eye.

the goal of most treatments for glaucoma is to improve how fluid flows from the eye, to reduce the production of fluid or a combination of both.

the first treatments usually given for glaucoma are eye drops, but they can have unpleasant side effects such as rarely retinal detachment or breathing problems. there are also surgery options if medicines don’t work and they can include surgery to unblock drainage canals, filtering surgery to open eye channels and drainage implants.

so, does marijuana help glaucoma?

marijuana and glaucoma

a lot of people wonder does marijuana help glaucoma?

medical marijuana has been linked to glaucoma for decades, and there were studies that showed that marijuana could help reduce the intraocular pressure people with glaucoma experience. with that being said, research showed that marijuana could only temporarily reduce the eye pressure of glaucoma. in fact, most research shows that with marijuana and glaucoma, the effects of the marijuana last only a few hours, and this is one of the biggest reasons marijuana might not be the best treatment for glaucoma.

glaucoma needs around-the-clock treatment, so it would require that someone use marijuana throughout the day to really get the benefits.

of course, with this comes the consideration that marijuana can alter your behavior and perception, and there are side effects that come with its use.

another reason a lot of researchers are rethinking the conventional wisdom about the relationship between marijuana and glaucoma is because there is some evidence coming to light that glaucoma may also be a neurological disease that comes from a reduced level of blood flow to the optic nerve. marijuana lowers blood pressure, which can result in even less blood flow to the optic nerve.

with marijuana and glaucoma, it’s not seen as an ideal treatment for early-stage patients.

however, even with that being said, with late-stage glaucoma, marijuana is often more encouraged as a treatment. the reason is because during late stage glaucoma the objective isn’t necessarily to treat it because the long-term damage has likely already been done. instead, marijuana may be used to help treat the accompanying symptoms and discomfort. for example, marijuana could help with the pain and nausea that can be associated with late-stage glaucoma.

there is likely to be continuing research on marijuana and glaucoma, because of the role cannabinoid receptors play in ocular tissue. it may be that in the future researchers are able to develop cannabis-based medicines that are more effective in helping with earlier stage glaucoma.

summing up—does marijuana help glaucoma?

so, does marijuana help glaucoma? as it stands right now, marijuana isn’t the preferred treatment for glaucoma, particularly when it’s in its early stages. first, with marijuana and glaucoma the effects are very short-lived, so they’re not very practical. also, there are risks and side effects that can come with the use of marijuana.

right now with marijuana and glaucoma doctors are more likely to recommend it when glaucoma has reached later stages, and the marijuana can be used as a way to help the patient cope with the side effects.

that doesn’t mean there isn’t a future for marijuana and glaucoma, especially as researchers are looking at cannabinoid-based medicines that could have positive future implications.

new year, new outlook on eye health

with the new year comes a fresh start. while many americans will make plans to change their habits, a large majority of resolutions are focused on health-related outcomes.

that commitment to focusing on physical health extends to preventative care for your eyes. there are several lifestyle habits that can have positive implications for sight and help combat issues that lead to vision impairment or blindness.

to kick off 2019 with your eyes in mind, we recommend five lifestyle habits that lend a hand to healthy vision:

  • eat healthy. the holidays can be especially tempting for poor diet choices. make sure you eat plenty of leafy greens, colorful fruits and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids for good eye health. our optometrist can also make recommendations for supplements that support eye health.

  • get active. try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise into your everyday routine. healthy weight and normal blood pressure levels are key to improving your overall health, including your eyes.

  • avoid smoking. most smokers are not aware that their tobacco use is a preventable cause of blindness. avoiding smoking, or taking steps to quit lowers your risk of vision impairment and vision loss.

  • wear sunglasses. sunglasses serve as a fashion statement, but the right pair can shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful uv rays. prolonged and high levels of uv rays can lead to serious health problems, including cataracts and macular degeneration.

  • schedule an annual eye exam. an annual eye exam is recommended for everyone, even when vision issues aren’t apparent. having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat vision issues.

we want to help you achieve your new year health goals. schedule your comprehensive eye exam today!

Have You Used Your 2018 Benefits?


It’s almost December! Have you used your 2018 Vision Care, and/or FSA benefits?

Many vision benefits and flexible spending accounts (FSA) offer benefits that expire at the end of every year. This means that if you do not USE the money by the end of your benefits year (usually December 31st) you will LOSE it. In most cases, unused benefits cannot be transferred over to the New Year (usually beginning January 1st).

Most vision insurance plans entitle you to annual comprehensive eye examination and either an allowance or discounts toward eyewear or contact lenses each year.

Have you taken advantage of these benefits this year?

If you are not sure of the date of your last comprehensive eye examination, please call or text us at (206)217-2015 and we can look it up for you.

The end of the year is often the busiest time for optometrists and optical shops. Schedule your exam early, stop by anytime to pick out your next pair of eyeglasses and/or call to order a supply of contact lenses before time runs out!

Time is Running Out to Use Your 2018 Benefits!

Many people participate in Vision plans, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Health Savings Accounts (HSA) through their employers. Many vision benefits and flexible spending accounts (FSA) offer benefits that expire at the end of every year. This means that if you do not USE the money by the end of your benefits year (usually December 31st) you will LOSE it. In most cases, unused benefits cannot be transferred over to the New Year (usually beginning January 1st). Most vision insurance plans entitle you to annual comprehensive eye examination and either an allowance or discounts toward eyewear or contact lenses each year. Have you taken advantage of these benefits this year? If you are not sure of the date of your last comprehensive eye examination, please call us and we can look it up for you.
The end of the year is often the busiest time for optometrists and optical shops. Schedule your exam early, stop by anytime to pick out your next pair of eyeglasses and/or call to order a supply of contact lenses before time runs out!

What is A Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Periodic eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms, so you might not know a problem exists. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems can help prevent vision loss.

Each patient’s signs and symptoms, along with your optometrist’s professional judgment, will determine what tests your optometrist conducts. A comprehensive adult eye and vision examination may include, but is not limited to, the following tests.

Patient History
The doctor will ask about any eye or vision problems you are currently having and about your overall health. In addition, a patient history will include when your eye or vision symptoms began, medications you are taking, and any work-related or environmental conditions that may be affecting your vision. The doctor will also ask about any previous eye or health conditions you and your family members have experienced.

Visual Acuity
Visual acuity measurements evaluate how clearly each eye is seeing. Reading charts are often used to measure visual acuity. As part of the testing, you will read letters on charts at a distance and near.

The results of visual acuity testing are written as a fraction, such as 20/40. The top number in the fraction is the standard distance at which testing is done (20 feet). The bottom number is the smallest letter size you were able to read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within 20 feet to see a letter that should be seen clearly at 40 feet. Normal distance visual acuity is 20/20.

Preliminary Tests
An optometrist may first want to look at specific aspects of your visual function and eye health. Preliminary tests can include evaluations of depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements, peripheral or side vision, and the way your pupils respond to light.

Keratometry
This test measures the curvature of the cornea (the clear outer surface of the eye) by focusing a circle of light on the cornea and measuring its reflection. This measurement is particularly critical in determining the proper fit for contact lenses.

Refraction
Refraction determines the lens power you need to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism). Using an instrument called a phoropter, your optometrist places a series of lenses in front of your eyes. He or she then measures how these lenses focus light using a handheld lighted instrument called a retinoscope. Your doctor may choose to use an instrument that automatically evaluates the focusing power of the eye. The lens power is then refined based your input on the lenses that give you the clearest vision.

Eye Health Evaluation
Your optometrist may need to perform additional tests based on the results of the previous tests. These tests can help confirm or rule out possible problems, clarify uncertain findings or provide a more in-depth assessment.

At the completion of the examination, your optometrist will evaluate all the test results to determine a diagnosis. He or she will discuss with you any visual or eye health problems and explain treatment options. In some cases, your optometrist may refer you to another optometrist or other health care provider for consultation or treatment.

Supplemental testing
Additional testing may be needed based on the results of the previous tests to confirm or rule out possible problems, to clarify uncertain findings, or to provide a more in-depth assessment.

At the completion of the examination, your optometrist will assess and evaluate the results of the testing to determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. He or she will discuss with you the nature of any visual or eye health problems found and explain available treatment options. In some cases, referral for consultation with, or treatment by, another optometrist or other health care provider may be indicated.

Donate to QA Food Bank & Win Sunglasses!

Queen Anne Food Bank provides healthy food assistance to low-income and homeless members of our community. This program serves every person that comes to their door in need, without discrimination and with respect and dignity.

Eyeballs is excited to support their mission and give you an opportunity to win some fabulous sunglasses!

For every donation you drop off at Eyeballs, you will be entered to win a pair of INVU sunglasses!*

Items in need the most:

  • Canned soup and chili
  • Cereal or granola
  • Pasta & rice
  • Tomato sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Snack crackers
  • Cans of tuna or spam (pop top)
  • Mayo & mustard

Other ways to support the Queen Anne Food Bank can be found here.

*One entry per donation. Winners will be announced June 30, 2018. Donations to be dropped off at: Eyeballs, 166 Roy Street, Seattle, WA 98126. Frame only, excludes prescription lenses

Frame Sale Starts April 28th!

Now’s the best time to get great deals on your next pair of glasses. Whether it be your first pair, spare pair, dress up pair, or sunglasses. We’ve got you covered! Stop by to see what looks good on you! All in stock frames will be 40% off April 28 – May 12*

SALE KICK OFF PARTY – SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 12-5pm
Please join us for special discounts, music, dancing, games, prizes, and refreshments to kick off our annual SALE!

Nutrition and Eye Health

Research suggests that antioxidants and other important nutrients may reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Specific antioxidants can have additional benefits as well; for example, vitamin A protects against blindness, and vitamin C may play a role in preventing or alleviating glaucoma.

The following vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been shown to be essential for good vision and may protect your eyes from sight-robbing conditions and diseases.

Beta-Carotene
Beta-Carotene rich foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and butternut squash when taken in combination with zinc and vitamins C and E, may reduce the progression of macular degeneration.

Bioflavonoids (Flavonoids)
To help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, eat a diet rich in bioflavonoids, which comes from tea, red wine, citrus fruits, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, legumes, and soy products.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Eating plenty of spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and squash may prevent cataracts and macular degeneration because they are rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, freshly ground flaxseeds, and walnuts may help prevent macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes.

Vitamin A
Foods such as beef or chicken liver, eggs, butter, and milk contain vitamin A and may protect against night blindness and dry eyes.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C rich foods like sweet peppers (red or green), kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, cantaloupe, may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Vitamin D
Foods high in vitamin D such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and milk may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin, and just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight each day will insure your body is producing adequate amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E rich foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts may reduce the risk of advanced AMD.

Zinc
Zinc rich foods such as oysters, beef, Dungeness crab, turkey (dark meat) may play a role in reducing risk of advanced AMD and reduce the risk of night blindness.

In general, it’s best to obtain most nutrients through a healthy diet, including at least two servings of fish per week and plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.

We recommend trying Imperfect Produce– a company that sources not so perfect fruits and veggies and delivers them right to your door at 30-50% less than the grocery store. You can even get $10 off your first order!

Contact Lens Discomfort?

Ever feel like something’s not quite right with your contact lenses? If so, you’re not alone. Plenty of people who wear contacts experience contact lens discomfort at some point.

Episodes of contact lens discomfort usually does not mean you no longer are a good candidate for contact lenses or that you have to permanently stop wearing contacts. It’s likely that a simple change to your lenses, care products or daily habits will make your contact lenses much more comfortable.

Detection And Treatment Of Contact Lens Discomfort
To determine the specific causes of your contact lens discomfort and appropriate remedies, you need to see your optometrist. A visit to your eye doctor also will rule out the possibility that your discomfort indicates a more serious underlying problem.

Remove your contact lenses and visit your eye doctor if:

  • Eyes stinging, burning, itching (irritation), or other eye pain
  • Comfort is less than when lens was first placed on eye
  • Abnormal feeling of something in the eye (foreign body, scratched area)
  • Excessive watering (tearing) of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision (poor visual acuity)
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dry eyes

Remember: If your eyes don’t feel good, look good, or see well, you need a checkup by an eye care professional. Sometimes a minor contact lens irritation, if left untreated, can develop into a more serious problem — occasionally one that can be sight-threatening.

Your eyes change, contacts lenses that worked for you before, may not work for you now. Ask your eye doctor about new types of contact lenses and/or cleaning solutions that can relieve discomfort, and improve your vision.

The Warm Up Project

Eyeballs is excited to be part of The Warm Up Project. We will be collecting blankets, socks, gloves, hats, and other warm provisions for the homeless within King County. Please donate or volunteer for this amazing project. For donations dropped off at our office, you will receive a $20 eyewear credit to go towards your next pair of eyeglasses! There’s no better time to give!

November is National Diabetes Month

If you are one of more than 25 million Americans with diabetes, you may already know the importance of watching your diet and keeping track of your blood sugar. But did you know it’s also important to have regular eye exams?

In the United States, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of vision loss among working-age adults. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of this disease, and affects about 28.5 percent of Americans with diabetes age 40 and older. That’s more than 7 million people, and the number is expected to reach more than 11 million by the year 2030.

The condition can creep up quietly. It gradually weakens small blood vessels in and around the retina, the light-sensing layer of tissue at the back of the eye. If the disease progresses, these vessels may rupture and leak blood into the eye; they can also spread and grow on the surface of the retina and cause scarring.

Typically, diabetic retinopathy has no symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. But the disease can be detected early through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. In this procedure, an eye professional will put drops in your eye to dilate (widen) the pupil, which allows a closer look at the retina.

The good news is that with early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up, the risk of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be reduced by 95 percent. There are several effective treatment options including laser surgery and injections of anti-VEGF drugs. These drugs block the actions of a protein that can cause abnormal blood vessels to grow and leak fluid.

November is National Diabetes Month. If you have diabetes, it’s a good time to remember these health tips:

  • Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.
  • Control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. By controlling your diabetes, you’ll reduce your risk of diabetic eye disease.
  • Talk to your eye care professional about diabetic retinopathy.
  • Learn more about diabetic eye disease from the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Learn more about preventing and managing diabetes from the National Diabetes Education Program.