Essilor See Change

The latest updates from Essilor See Change, FramesDirect.com’s parent company’s initiative to bring good vision to everyone, everywhere.

  • Essilor Poland invited employee’s children and their classmates for a visit to the Optical Laboratory. A lab tour, eye tests, and vision experiments were all part of the fun and educational program. 200 children had their eyes tested and those with a vision problem received a free pair of customized spectacles.
  • On the Dutch island country of St. Maarten, the sun takes heavy toll on residents’ eyes and eyecare is hard to come by. Ellen Haag, VP of Brand Sales for Essilor of America, realized the need while on a sailing trip with members of the company’s ECP service consultant team, who had won a President’s Club award. She had the opportunity to talk with Garth Steyn, who runs a foundation called Kidz at Sea that help get youth involved in the marine industry. Learn more.
  • In a continuous effort to fight against poor vision in children, and the serious consequences it can have on their lives as adults, Essilor Vision Foundation China recently announced a long-term partnership which will ensure that 30,000 young boys and girls in Xing County, Shanxi province, benefit from the vision care they need to help them learn and contribute to the development of their region. Learn more.
  • In October 2015, the government of China abandoned its decades-long one-child policy in an effort to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing country. It will be fascinating to see the role that vision will play in this public health phenomenon. As myopia and the population increase exponentially, it’s imperative that we educate governments and communities about visual solutions that could impact China’s future.  Learn more.
safety glasses

Safety glasses: For Work, Hobbies, and with your Prescription

Safety glasses have come a long way. You used to have to buy big goggles to put over your prescription glasses, which were cumbersome and could get quite foggy – making your work even harder. Whether you need prescription lenses, or not, safety glasses are a lot less bulky these days.

Even with a streamlined look, safety glasses should (of course) protect your eyes from whatever hazards you may encounter.

The best way to ensure your safety glasses will give you reliable protection is to purchase frames and lenses that are ANSI rated.

ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute; they have minimum performance requirements for glasses and put frames and lenses through a series of tests – including a high velocity test conducted with a ¼ inch steel ball!

Whether you’re buying safety glasses (or prescription safety glasses) for work on a construction site, a laboratory, or for your kid to wear to play in a baseball game, the standards are the same. At FramesDirect.com we carry multiple brands of ANSI rated safety glasses and goggles, so you can find the the perfect pair for any activity. And if you buy prescription glasses in a safety frame, we will fit them with polycarbonate lenses that are ANSI rated. Polycarbonate is the most impact-resistant lens material. A full range of lens options are available including anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings and tinting.

You only get one pair of eyes per lifetime, so if you have a job that puts your eyes in harm’s way or just enjoy some of the more dangerous hobbies, its worthwhile to find a pair of glasses that fully protects them! All our operators at FramesDirect.com are trained opticians, so if you have any questions about getting the best safety glasses for your needs, just let us know.

If you want to learn a little more about safety glasses, check out this video with Travis:

 

Glaucoma Awareness

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

January has been declared National Glaucoma Awareness Month by Prevent Blindness and other leading eye health organizations, in an effort to help educate the public on the disease. Glaucoma is a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers connecting the eye to the brain, and is the leading cause of preventable blindness.

Why Do I Need Reading Glasses?

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Reading glasses are an inevitability for most people, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the $10 pair from the drug store with cheap lenses and little beads hanging off the temples…

It’s going to happen to everyone and you can’t fight it but that doesn’t mean that you have to get a boring pair from the drugstore down the street! Reading glasses (or readers) are a pair of glasses that help with close vision for activities like reading. Today many different, designer brands have been making stylish reading glasses that are cost effective, and for those who are not ready for bifocals.

Who needs reading glasses?

Deteriorating close vision is a symptom of an extremely common condition called Presbyopia. There is no treatment for Presbyopia because it is a natural phenomena that happens to our eyes as we get older. When we reach our forties, the lenses in our eyes start becoming less malleable, and it becomes more difficult for them to easily bend into the correct shape for up close vision. That means that activities like reading and driving can become more difficult. This is when adults in their forties begin to hold up books and menus at arms length to read them!

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Why don’t I just get bifocals?

Bifocal lenses are for people who need help with both far and near vision. The line on bifocal lenses can also be difficult to get used to. Bifocals can cost up to double what reading glasses do. Progressive lenses (which are like bifocals, but without an annoying line) can cost even more. If you are looking for a solution for just close vision, reading glasses are your best bet! Reading glasses come in six, generic powers that fit a majority of people (+1.00, +1.50, +1.75, +2.00, +2.25, +2.50, +3.00).

But reading glasses are ugly!

But they don’t have to be! Certain brands such as Private Eyes Readers and Corinne McCormack make beautiful readers that are fashion forward, professional, and not too expensive. If you need sunglasses, well-known sunglasses brands like Costa and Maui Jim make Costa C-Mates and Maui Jim Readers, which still have the style and innovation that is associated with the Costa and Maui Jim names, but at a more affordable cost!
More questions about reading glasses? Check out these awesome reading glasses below and our reading glasses page at FramesDirect.com!!

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August is National Eye Exam Month: Who Should Get Eye Exams?

Summer vacation is over. Time to go back to work or school, and time to start visiting doctors. Whether you need a physical for sports or vaccines for the new year, make sure that you add an eye exam to the list of check ups you’ll need to schedule.

Avoid Sore Eyes with Safe Screen Time

With the preponderance of digital devices in our lives it’s easy to lose track of the hours we spend staring at screens. Whether you are obliged to be in front of a computer for your job duties, or just a TV or video game junkie, the dangers are applicable to you. And that’s not to mention the ubiquitous smartphone, which has now become an appendage on even the youngest members of society.  Considering this, it’s no surprise that Digital Eye Strain is a potential problem for most of us, whether we wear glasses or not. And it’s important to consider the ways in which we can mitigate the cumulative damage done to our eyes from digital devices.

So what exactly is Digital Eye Strain? It’s simply the discomfort many of us feel after two or more hours in front of any type of digital screen. This includes desktops and laptops, smart phones and tablets, e-readers, TVs, and video games. Other bodily symptoms of overexposure include neck, shoulder, and back pain, headache, blurred vision, and dry eyes. The average person blinks about 18 times a minute, but staring at screen causes blink rates to reduce, resulting in dry, itchy or burning eyes and can even cause permanent changes to tear fluid.

The optical industry has begun paying attention to blue light, also called high-energy visible (HEV) light, exposure. This is the category of light emitted from backlit displays. Blue light can reach even deeper into the eye than UV, and may damage the retina with cumulative exposure (which could lead to macular degeneration.)  Digital devices expose the eye to hidden spikes in intensity at wavelengths within the blue part of the spectrum.

blue part of spectrum

Blue light can also impact circadian rhythms by suppressing the release of melatonin (the hormone that controls the day-night cycle in the body.)

This January, The Vision Council released its third annual Digital Eye Strain Report, based on a study involving around 10k participants conducted in October, 2014. Its findings about the amount of time most of us spend on digital devices is a little shocking – 1/3 of adults spend more than half their waking hours staring at a screen.  But many of us have no choice; our livelihoods are dependent on hours in front a computer. So what can be done?

Tips for preventing digital eye strain:

  • Increase the text size and adjust the contrast to make text easier to read
  • Change the background color from white to grey
  • 20-20-20 rule: look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds at something 20 feet away
  • Remind yourself to blink
  • Dust & wipe down screens to cut down on glare
  • Put your computer screen one arms length from your face (20-28 inches from your eyes)
  • Your screen should be directly in front of your face, slightly below eye level
  • Anti-reflective coatings on the front and back of lenses (more info)
  • Anti-glare protective screens on monitors
  • Adjust the lighting in your workspace using desk lamps or other portable lighting (since fluorescent lighting emits blue light as well)
  • Try blue-light blocking lenses (like these, or any lens with an amber, yellow, or gold tint that has UV coating)

Tips for kids

  1.       Take regular breaks
  2.       Don’t let them hold the screen too close to their eyes
  3.       Correctly set up workstation, with 2 feet flat on the floor.

If you suspect you are suffering from digital eye strain, get an evaluation from your eye care provider.

 

The Vision Council (2015, January) Hindsight is 20/20/20: Protect Your Eyes from Digital Devices, 2015 Digital Eye Strain Report, Retrieved February, 03, 2015, from http://www.thevisioncouncil.org/

 

Sunglasses in Spain

UV Protection: Important for Your Eyes, too

UV Protection for the Eyes

In addition to hot weather locations, mountainous, cold terrains are just as exposed to UV radiation as higher temperature terrains.

Most of us have heard of the dangers of UV radiation since our childhood. As soon as we were old enough to play outside, we were instructed to lather our skin in UV protective sunblock and wear sunglasses that offer UV protection. But what exactly is UV radiation and what are its potential dangers? To know more about how you can protect yourself against UV radiation, you must know its source. In short, know your enemy.

What is UV Radiation?

UV radiation is a light that comes in three different forms, UVA, UVB, and UVC. The majority of what reaches our eyes and skin is UVA, but small traces of the latter two also leak through the ozone layer of our earth from the sun. Overexposure of UV radiation to the human body damages DNA cells. This damage can result in something as mild as sunburn, to something as severe as skin cancer. Since human eyes are just as openly exposed as the human skin, the effects of UV radiation on the eyes are nearly the same. Just like the skin can develop sunburn from over exposure to the sun, eyes can develop a type of sunburn called photokeratitis. Like skin sunburn, photokeratitits’ effects are usually only surface deep and temporary, but long term exposure of UV radiation to the eye can cause more severe effects like cataracts or macular degeneration.

Where Does UV Radiation Come From?

Most of the UV light that humans come in contact with is from the sun. But contrary to popular assumption, the sun isn’t the only source of UV light. Human inventions of light, like tanning booth lamps, welding machines, and lasers all contain traces of UV light that are enough to cause major damage to the eyes. Another incorrect assumption is that hot weather locations, like the beach, are more susceptible to UV damage than cold weather locations, like the mountains. Mountainous, cold terrains are just as exposed to UV radiation as higher temperature terrains, if not more.

Photokeratitis, commonly called “snow blindness,” is a form of eye damage resulting from UV rays reflecting from the snow into the eye. Also, UV radiation increases with altitude, so the higher up you are, the more damage can be done. UV rays can also reflect off of other surfaces such as sand, water, and concrete, so make sure you are protected regardless of what environment you’re in.

Protection From UV Radiation

Here are a few ways that you can protect your eyes from UV radiation to avoid long and short term damage.

1. First and foremost, is to wear UV protective sunglasses during the daytime. Make sure that whatever sunglasses you are purchasing have UV protection. The best sunglasses for UV protection are the ones that have the most face coverage, and are a solid tint all the way through (not a faded tint). Also, UV rays can pass through thin clouds, so even if it’s a lightly clouded day, wear your shades. Make sure that the sunglasses you wear block 100% of UV radiation, this is the recommendation by the FDA. Contact lenses and prescription glasses also offer UV protection when it is too dark outside to wear sunglasses.

2. Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles or sunglasses if you are around UV emitting lights. Welders, people that use tanning booths, and people that work around lasers in the tech industry should all wear protective eyewear when working around UV rays.

3. Wear sunscreen on your face and skin. UV rays can reflect off of your skin and into your eyes, so make sure that you use a sunscreen that offers the proper UV protection for your environment. The FDA recommends that you use a sunscreen that offers SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 or more.


Related: Vision Therapy, What is 20/20 Vision?, Eyeglass Lens Prescription Explained, Contact Lens Prescription Explained.