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Month: October 2017

Understanding Fall Eye Allergies

by Jamie Peters

Fall is a popular time to enjoy outdoor activities with your loved ones. With the beautiful falling leaves and mild temperatures, there’s no better time for going on a hike or hosting a barbecue. Unfortunately, fall is also prime time for eye allergies. In today’s post, your reliable eye care clinic, Vision Solutions, explains what causes fall eye allergies and how to manage them:

1506935852Understanding Fall Eye Allergies

Causes and Symptoms

Fall brings certain plant-based allergens that can trigger a hypersensitivity reflex from your immune system, leading to histamine release in your bloodstream. This neurotransmitter causes your blood vessels to open, increasing blood flow to affected areas. This is why your eyes may become red, swollen, itchy, or watery after being exposed to a certain allergen.

Ways to Manage Fall Eye Allergies

Avoiding your trigger allergens is the best solution, but it’s not always possible. What you can do is take precautionary steps to protect your eyes. For one, with Halloween just around the corner, you may be planning on using costume contact lenses. Before buying a pair, make sure you have a prescription from your eye doctor. You should also observe cleanliness and proper hygiene all the time. This reduces the risk of hand-eye transfer of allergens.

Wearing protective goggles or wrap-around eyeglasses when outside is another good way to protect yourself from allergens. Not only can they reduce the likelihood of an eye allergy attack, but they can also prevent eye injuries when you are raking fallen leaves or doing other outdoor chores.

For reliable eye care, turn to Vision Solutions. Apart from eye allergy management, we also provide glaucoma treatment, myopia control, and more. Call us at (619) 461-4913 or complete our form to learn more about our eye care products and services. We serve La Mesa, CA.

What You Need to Know to Help World Blindness

October is World Blindness Awareness Month, an initiative started to help the public to understand the realities of visual impairment and how it affects the world population.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of millions of individuals around the world who are unnecessarily blind or visually impaired due to causes that are preventable and treatable. Much of this is due to lack of access to proper healthcare and education. Today’s research shows that the leading causes of blindness and moderate and severe vision impairment (MSVI) are uncorrected refractive error, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and other retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.

While steps are being taken to increase education and access to eye care in populations that are known to be lacking, vision impairment is expected to increase threefold by 2050 due to aging and an increase in myopia and diabetic retinopathy.

Here are some facts about blindness and MSVI:

  • 36 million people worldwide are blind
  • 217 million are categorized as MSVI
  • 253 million are visually impaired
  • 1.1 million people have near vision impairment that could be fixed with eyeglasses
  • 55% of visually impaired people are women
  • 89% of visually impaired people live in low or middle-income countries
  • 75% of vision impairment is avoidable
  • 81% of people who are blind or have MSVI are aged 50 years or over
  • Almost half of all students in Africa’s schools for the blind would be able to see if they had a pair of glasses.

What can we do?

To help combat global blindness and vision impairment, we first have to be educated. Learn about proper eye health and eye care and educate your children, family and friends. Implement that knowledge into your life with preventative eye care and regular eye doctor visits. Fighting blindness starts at home.

Next, consider donating your old eyewear. Eyewear donations can be extremely valuable to underdeveloped countries. Most eye doctors accept donations of old eyewear and give them to organizations like the Lions Club or VOSH that do humanitarian missions to other countries and provide eyecare and eyewear. Old glasses that we take for granted here or that are gathering dust in a drawer somewhere can be life changing for someone in a poor or underdeveloped country.

In addition, there are a number of organizations that assist the world population in preventing blindness and providing education and eye care to underprivileged societies. You can help fight blindness and MSVI by supporting these causes and the many others out there doing humanitarian work in this field. Here are a few examples:

Through support, research, education and outreach, we hope to stop the rapid pace of increasing unnecessary blindness around the world. So spread the word. When we all come together, we can accomplish our goals!

Elements to Consider When Choosing Your Eyeglass Frames

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

At Vision Solutions, we proudly offer a large selection of eyeglasses made from the finest materials. They come in different frame shapes, styles, and colors. We also carry some exquisite pairs from Ferragamo, Valentino, and other upscale brands in the industry. With so many designs to choose from, picking the perfect pair may seem challenging. Here are the basic factors you should consider:

1506935584Elements To Consider When Choosing Your Eyeglass Frames

The Shape of Your Face

You should look for frames that adds balance to your face, accentuating your good features. For example, if you have more of a square-shaped face, you’ll probably find that round frames look best on you, while people with a more rounded face might look better in rectangular frames.

Your Eye, Hair, and Skin Color

Your eyeglasses can serve as a fun fashion accessory that reflects your personality. To find the pair that looks best, our eye doctor suggests considering your skin color first. Whites, browns, and other neutral hues will look best on people with a relatively warm skin tone, while jewel-toned frames tend to look best on people with cooler complexions. If you want to emphasize the natural color of your eyes, choose frames within the same shade. For a striking appeal, select frames in a shade that contrasts with your hair.

Character and Lifestyle

During your eye exam, we will ask about the nature of your work and hobbies. Since you will be wearing your glasses every day, you want a pair that suits your lifestyle. If you frequently engage in sports and other physical activities, for example, we may suggest selecting wrap-around frames for better visual protection. We also have unique frame shapes and designs, which tend to be favorites for people with more artistic personalities.

If you need help selecting the perfect frames, call us at (619) 461-4913 or complete our form. We serve La Mesa, CA.

Halloween Eye Safety

October has arrived and that means many people are already starting to plan for upcoming costume parties and trick-or-treating for the Halloween season. This is why now is the time to remind the public about some very important precautions about eye safety since there are some common costume props and accessories out there can be very dangerous to your eyes.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses

One of the biggest costume-related dangers to your eyes and vision is cosmetic or decorative contact lenses. Decorative lenses can be a great addition to your costume, but they must be obtained safely and legally with a prescription, through a professional, authorized vendor.

The bottom line is that contact lenses are a medical device that are manufactured and distributed under very strict regulations. Even non-corrective contact lenses require an eye exam to measure your eye and fit lenses according to a prescription. Costume stores, beauty supply stores and similar websites are not authorized dealers of contact lenses, and over-the-counter contact lenses are not legal under any circumstances. 

Beware of anyone advertising “one-size-fits all” lenses or promoting that you do not need a prescription to purchase. Never buy contact lenses that don’t require a prescription. You could be risking serious damage to the eye and even blindness.

When contact lenses are not fitted to your unique eye measurements by an eye doctor, they can cause dryness and discomfort as well as a corneal abrasion or a scratch on the front surface of the eye. Serious corneal abrasions can leave scars and create permanent vision damage. Further, unregulated contact lenses may not be manufactured with optimal materials that are flexible and breathable and can be applied and removed properly. There are stories of lenses being stuck to people’s eyes and causing serious damage. Even if you aren’t feeling pain, it is best to check with a qualified licensed contact lens fitter to confirm if the contact lens is causing any harm to the eyes.

Non-prescription contacts have also been shown to present a higher risk of eye infection.  Serious infections can lead to vision loss, sometimes on a permanent basis. There are far too many stories these days of people that have used off-the-counter contact lenses that are now blind or suffering serious vision loss and chronic discomfort. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to forgo your red, devil eyes this year! Just be safe and plan ahead. There are many manufacturers of cosmetic lenses, and these can be obtained safely through an authorized contact lens dealer. Contact your eye doctor or local optician to find out more. 

False Lashes

False eyelashes have become quite the rage in recent years but they carry a number of risks with them as well. First of all, they can damage the natural eyelash hair follicles, causing them to fall out, sometimes permanently. The chances of this increase when people sleep in their lashes or leave them on for extended periods of time. In addition to the aesthetic damage, this can be dangerous to your eyes because eyelashes are essential for protecting your eyes from sweat, debris, and dust. Without your eyelashes your eyes are at greater risk for infection and irritation.  

False eyelashes can also be a trap for dirt, debris and bacteria which can enter your eye causing irritation and infections, along the lids or inside the eye itself. As we said above, severe infections can sometimes lead to vision loss. 

Additionally, the glue that adheres the lashes to your eyelid can sometimes cause an allergic reaction in the skin around the eye or to the eye itself. The eye is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, so you want to keep any potential allergens or irritants far, far away. 

Masks and Props

If your (or your child’s) costume includes a mask, fake face, hood or anything else that goes on your head, make sure that visibility isn’t impaired. Unfortunately, it’s common for children especially to trip and fall because they cannot see well. Also, use caution when using props such as plastic swords, pitchforks, guns, sports equipment which can easily cause a corneal abrasion or contusion to the eye if hit in the face. 

Makeup

Lastly be careful about the makeup you apply around your eyes. Wash your hands before you apply eye makeup and don’t share makeup and brushes with others, as this can lead to the spread of infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye). Make sure your makeup isn’t expired (mascara for example is recommended to throw away 2-4 months after opening) and try not to apply anything like eyeliner too close to the underside of the eyelid. Lastly, only  use makeup intended for eyes in the area around the eyes.  

When you are planning for this Halloween season, just remember that your vision is too high a price to pay for any great costume. Dress up safely and Happy Halloween!