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5 Sunglasses Trends Worth Knowing

Designer Sunglasses at  Norwalk Vision Center

Designer Sunglasses at Norwalk Vision Center

Sunglasses have been a fashion accessory for decades, so it’s no wonder that favorite styles frequently make a comeback, while others remain popular year after year. So what’s changed? The realization that sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. They also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

At Norwalk Vision Center in Norwalk we can offer you cool stylish looks while protecting your eyes with our large selection of designer sunglasses.

We’ve listed 5 sunglasses trends to keep in mind when shopping for your new pair of shades.

1. Oversized Lenses

Oversized designer sunglasses are not only a must-have accessory. They’re also highly functional. Larger frames and lenses help block more sunlight from your eyes. Oversized sunglasses also come in polarized and nonpolarized lenses, so you can see better and more clearly while still looking great.

2. Colorful Shades

If you already have a large collection of sunglasses, sunglasses with colorful lenses can be an inspired addition, both fashion-wise and functionally. Each tint provides different benefits to suit your lifestyle. For example, to improve depth perception choose a brown/amber or red tint. Red and yellow tints reduce eye strain. Gray-tinted lenses reduce glare on both sunny and cloudy days.

3. Aviator Sunglasses

There’s a reason that aviator glasses are a staple. They go with everything. Aviator sunglasses protect your eyes while also giving you a sporty, fashionable edge. To add some fun, check out aviator shades in pink, blue, or classic grey.

4. Round Sunglasses

Round sunglasses, which were immortalized by John Lennon, are always trending. They’re especially flattering to people with a round, square or heart-shaped face.

5. Mirrored Lenses

Mirrored lenses are not only stylish but provide a reflective optical coating. From the outside, the coating looks like a mirror and has a reflective surface that reflects a clear image. However, the mirror doesn’t pass on the inside of the lens. Mirrored lenses offer several advantages: they help with glare, making it more comfortable to drive; they keep light from getting into your lenses; they improve how well you see colors; and they protect your eyes from UV rays. They’re a sleek fashion accessory that enhances any outfit.

No matter what style you go for, remember it’s also about protection. The sun gives off strong UV rays, so it’s just as important to protect your eyes while looking cool and stylish. Visit us to see our large variety of designer sunglasses and get the look you’ve always wanted.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Folman

Q: Should I wear sunglasses during the winter?

  • A: Absolutely! Ultra-violet (UV) rays are present and harmful whether it’s cloudy out or sunny! While we all know that UV rays can cause damage to the skin, UV exposure can also cause damage to several important parts of the eyes and can lead to problems such as early-onset cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.

Q: How do I know which sunwear lenses absorb UV rays the most?

  • A: Generally, most sunwear lenses will absorb UV lenses to some degree. Lenses that are marked CR-39R plastic, absorb about 88 percent of UV light. If sunglasses contain polycarbonate lenses, UV absorption will be 100 percent.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit us for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What Are The Top Benefits To Wearing Computer Glasses?

Computer Glasses and Eye Exams in Norwalk

Computer Glasses & Eye Exams

What Are Computer Glasses and Do They Make a Difference?

Many people spend most of their waking hours staring at screens, exposing them to the potentially harmful effects of blue light. In fact, if you’re reading this on one of your screens, you’re exposing your eyes to blue light at this very moment.

All this screen time comes at a price: It can cause headaches, eyestrain, insomnia, and possibly eye disease. Blue light glasses (also known as computer glasses) have been touted to combat these problems head-on. But do they really make a difference to those who spend many hours a day staring at screens?

What Is Blue Light?

Blue light is a color in the light spectrum visible to human eyes — though it doesn’t actually appear blue to the naked eye.

It’s a short wavelength that produces high amounts of energy (from 400 to 500 nanometers) and is often referred to as high-energy visible light (HEV). In fact, any source of visible light emits blue light, whether it’s an artificial source like a digital screen or a light bulb, or a natural one, like the sun.

How Does Blue Light Affect Your Eyes?

It Obstructs the Wake/Sleep Cycle

Prior to the invention of artificial light, the sun regulated our sleep schedules. After sundown, the darkness signals to our bodies that it’s time to produce melatonin, the hormone responsible for enabling us to sleep.

Nowadays, we’re exposed to blue light throughout the day and late into the night. While exposure to any light in the evening hours delays the production of melatonin, blue light waves can be particularly problematic as they radically disrupt these signals, causing less melatonin to be generated.

This essentially throws off our natural body clocks, since the brain associates blue light with daytime, making it harder to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

It May Increase the Risk of Macular Degeneration

A 2018 study by the University of Alcalá suggests that a high level of blue light exposure may increase one’s risk of macular degeneration later in life, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

This is because blue light penetrates right through the cornea to the retina, damaging light-sensitive cells in the retina.

It Can Potentially Cause Eye Strain

Blue light scatters more easily than other visible light. This unfocused light reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain, characterized by headaches, neck pain, and blurred vision.

That’s where computer glasses come in.

Research has indicated that lenses that filter out blue light significantly increase contrast. Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses may improve comfort levels when viewing digital devices for prolonged periods of time.

Are There Benefits to Wearing Computer Glasses?

As mentioned above, computer glasses reduce blue light exposure from computer screens and other digital devices. But are they worth getting?

According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, blue light can cause retinal damage “at greater intensities,” but the amount of light emitted by screens is quite low. Whether there is a cumulative effect requires further research.

Getting Computer Glasses

If you decide to get blue-light blocking lenses, you can find stylish options with or without a prescription. So if you’re farsighted and wear progressive lenses or bifocals, you can get single-lens computer glasses to match your prescription.

You may want to consider getting photochromic lenses, as they provide protection from both UV and blue light, whether indoors or out in the sun. These lenses seamlessly and automatically darken when exposed to UV rays outdoors, and become clear again when indoors.

Norwalk Vision Center in Norwalk offers a variety of computer glasses and lenses. Contact us today to discuss the optimal lens features for your lifestyle and get fitted for your perfect pair.

Computer Glasses & Digital Eye Strain | Norwalk Vision Center

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Stephanie Hanson

 

Q: What Are Computer Glasses and Do They Make a Difference?

  • A: Many people spend most of their waking hours staring at screens, exposing them to the potentially harmful effects of blue light. In fact, if you’re reading this on one of your screens, you’re exposing your eyes to blue light at this very moment.All this screen time comes at a price: It can cause headaches, eyestrain, insomnia, and possibly eye disease. Blue light glasses (also known as computer glasses) have been touted to combat these problems head-on. But do they really make a difference to those who spend many hours a day staring at screens?

Q: What Is Blue Light?

  • A: Blue light is a color in the light spectrum visible to human eyes — though it doesn’t actually appear blue to the naked eye.It’s a short wavelength that produces high amounts of energy (from 400 to 500 nanometers) and is often referred to as high-energy visible light (HEV). In fact, any source of visible light emits blue light, whether it’s an artificial source like a digital screen or a light bulb, or a natural one, like the sun.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Cranston, RI. Visit Bing for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Give Your Valentine a SPEC-tacular New Look This Year!

designer sunglasses and optical store

Best Designer Sunglasses At Norwalk Vision Center

With Valentine’s Day looming, why not surprise him or her with a SPEC-tacular new pair of designer sunglasses just in time for spring! Find out more by contacting Norwalk Vision Center in Norwalk today. We’ll help you find the perfect gift for your loved one.

Below are the main features you should keep in mind when buying sunglasses.

100% UV Protected

Don’t let dark lenses fool you; darker shades don’t correlate to better protection against UV rays. Make sure the sunglass lenses you buy provide 100% UV absorption or UV absorption up to 400nm. Certain brands, such as Maui Jim sunglasses, are not only super stylish but also offer 100% UV protection to keep your eyes healthy and safe while looking great.

Bigger is Better

When it comes to protecting your eyes against the sun’s rays, bigger is definitely better. The more coverage your sunglasses provide, the less damage to your eyes. For those desiring youthful-looking skin, the large coverage limits the development of wrinkles around the eyes.

Ray-Bans offer an array of large frames and lenses! From the iconic to the contemporary, Ray-Ban has an excellent selection of shades fit for every face and shape. Though we’ve seen many eyewear trends come and go, Ray-Ban’s three most classic pairs, The Aviator, The Wayfarer, and The Clubmaster, have remained the classics and are the most in-demand by our patients.

Polarization

Polarization reduces glare coming off reflective surfaces like the pavement, snow, or water. While polarized sunglasses don’t offer more protection from the sun, they can make activities like driving or being in the water safer and more enjoyable. If your loved one enjoys the beach, skiing, or simply going for a drive, then Maui Jim sunglasses might be the perfect pair for them, as all Maui Jim sunglasses are 100% polarized and fully protect your eyes UVA and UVB rays to keep eyes healthy and safe. Note that sunglasses that are 100% polarized aren’t necessarily 100% UV protected, so make sure to keep an eye out for both!

Go ahead and shower your loved one this Valentine’s Day with some sweet specs and visit us to discover our unique collections today!

Try These 5 Home Remedies For Dry Eye Syndrome

Quality Eye Care At  Norwalk Vision Center

Quality Eye Care At Norwalk Vision Center

If your eyes sting, burn, or feel scratchy you may have dry eye syndrome (DES), a condition that is usually caused by low-quality or low production of tears.

There are many factors that can cause dry eyes. Smoke and dry air can dry out the eyes, and so can wearing contact lenses, taking certain medications, and spending long periods of time reading a book or looking at a computer screen. In addition, our eyes tend to get drier as we age.

No matter the cause, dry eye syndrome can be extremely uncomfortable, and in severe cases can damage the cornea.

While only Dr. Folman can diagnose and treat dry eye syndrome, these 5 home remedies may provide some relief.

Warm Compresses

A warm compress will improve oil flow through your eyelid glands and clean your eyelids. You can make them at home with a small face cloth and warm water or purchase compresses at your local pharmacy.

Eyelid Wash

A great form of preventative care is eye washing. Washing your eyes you can keep your tear ducts and eyelids from getting blocked.

To help remove crust from your eyelids and eyelashes and to keep your eyes cleaner, try applying a sting-free shampoo. Some pharmacies sell over-the-counter eyelid and eyelash washes to clean these areas.

Add Omega-3 to Your Diet

Oils are a necessary component of tears, as they add lubrication and reduce evaporation. Dry eye syndrome can result from insufficient oil, so adding omega-3 to your diet can increase the oil in tears.

To increase your omega-3 intake, either take supplements or eat foods that contain high levels of the fatty acid.

Foods that contain Omega-3 include:

  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Palm oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts

Take Frequent Breaks and Blink More

When watching TV, reading, or using the computer many people forget to blink. It’s important to take breaks and blink more to inspire the flow of tears, which helps keep the moisture in your eyes intact. A well-known rule to follow is the 20-20-20 rule. It involves taking breaks at least every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds — especially when staring at a computer screen or digital device for long periods.

Tweak Your Environment

Environmental factors can cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Heat, dust, smoke, pollution, high winds, and air conditioning all dry out our eyes. Using a cold-mist humidifier and not sitting directly in front of an air conditioner, heater, or fan can help reduce eye irritation.

Stay Hydrated

Last but not least: drink more water! Staying well-hydrated is good for your eyes and is critical for producing healthy tears, clearing out debris, blinking, and seeing comfortably. Be sure you drink lots of water to maintain your eye health, and of course, overall physical well-being.

Home remedies can relieve mild dry eyes but are not a replacement for a comprehensive eye exam. If the symptoms persist or worsen, contact Norwalk Vision Center in Norwalk. We are committed to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

6 Contact Lens Tips for Winter Weather

contact lens eye exam near me

Contact Lens Eye Exam | Norwalk Vision Center

Winter’s cold, brisk, windy outdoor weather coupled with hot and dry indoor heating can take a toll on your eyes — especially if you wear contact lenses.

Neither situation is ideal for optimal eye comfort, so what can you do to make wearing contact lenses more comfortable this winter? Below are a few tips to help you navigate the winter contact lens wearing issue. However, if you still have questions about your contact lenses or general eye health, contact Norwalk Vision Center in Norwalk and we’ll be happy to help!

Tips For Contact Lens Comfort This Winter

1. Stay Hydrated

Since the eyes are part of an entire system, a dehydrated body means dehydrated eyes. This can lead to eye redness, irritation, grittiness, and other symptoms of dry eye syndrome. So make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 cups of water a day. And no, coffee and alcohol don’t count!

2. Put Moisture Back Into the Air

Heating systems are notorious for causing eye dryness and irritation. Whether you have central vent heating, a fireplace, a space heater, or wall radiator — you’ll want to combat the arid air with a cool-mist humidifier. Your eyes will thank you for it!

3. Don’t Overwear Your Contacts

Each pair of contact lenses is designed to be worn for a specific amount of time. Whether it’s for the number of hours you wear them per day or how frequently they need to be replaced with a fresh pair. So make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions to avoid eye discomfort.

4. Give Your Eyes a Break

If the weather is making your contact lenses uncomfortable, why not wear your specs from time to time? It can change up your look and give your eyeballs a rest. Consider removing your contacts when you’re home from work or school and see how you feel.

5. Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a year-round must, but even more so for contact lens wearers! Cool winds and even light breezes can cause the moist surface of your eyes to evaporate more quickly. Wearing shades helps maintain ocular hydration.

And don’t forget – always wear a quality pair of sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection.

6. Visit Your Eye Doctor

If your contact lenses aren’t feeling as comfortable as they should this winter season, the best thing you can do for your eyes is to schedule a contact lens consultation with your eye doctor.

Sometimes, contact lens discomfort is due to ill-fitting lenses. In such cases, trying a different type or brand of contact lens may be the solution. If winter dryness is the problem, your eye doctor may prescribe lubricating drops or lenses designed to retain moisture.

Our dedicated staff is committed to helping you achieve the highest level of comfort and visual clarity.

Don’t let contact lens irritation get in your way of enjoying winter. We can help! Contact us to schedule an eye exam or to ask any questions you may have.

5 Reasons to Buy Blue Light Glasses In-Store

Designer Computer Eyeglasses |  Norwalk Vision Center

Designer Computer Eyeglasses | Norwalk Vision Center

Wearing blue light glasses has become more and more of a trend, and there’s a very good reason for it! Blue light contributes to eye strain and can disrupt sleep patterns. Although more research is needed, some studies have even suggested a link between blue light exposure and diabetes and heart disease

As a result, people are turning to an online retailer to order these glasses. While it’s logical that people would opt for the convenience of purchasing blue glasses online, it’s important to be wary of the hassle and inaccuracy that can result when you don’t order through an optician.

Check out these 5 reasons you should we wary of buying blue light glasses online:

1. Not getting what you asked for

According to a study recently conducted by The American Optometric Association (AOA) that had researched the 10 most popular online retailers, 29% of eyeglasses ordered online had at least one lens that didn’t meet the required prescription. Wearing the wrong prescription can cause eye strain and headaches. The advantage of buying these glasses at an optical practice is that you can be sure you’ll get the right fit and correct prescription for your needs, ensuring optimal comfort and clear vision.

2. You can’t verify the quality

The problem with ordering online is that you can’t assess the quality and check for a loose hinge. Norwalk Vision Center only stocks quality frames and our optometric staff is trained to ensure you wear the proper fit and enjoy quality eyewear.

3. Cheaper frames can cause skin irritation — or worse

Along the same line, low-quality frames can end up costing you more in the long run. When browsing online, certain frames may look more expensive but could be made of low-grade materials that can cause skin irritation over time. Not only can they irritate your skin, but they can also get bleached by UV rays and the finish can worsen after a few months of wear.

4. Online virtual try-on’s can’t ensure satisfaction

If you’re buying glasses online, you’ll often have access to some sort of virtual try-on feature. This requires you to upload a forward-facing, close-up photo of yourself and you can then superimpose images of different frames on your face to see how they look.

While a virtual try-on can give you a rough idea of how you’ll look wearing different frames, it can’t tell you how the frames will feel.

5. Know what’s being cut to offer lower prices

Online retailers cut costs by using cheap materials and cut corners on customer service and safety standards. Over 20% do not meet ANSI safety standards and you don’t get the personalized attention and fitting expertise of a qualified optician. That’s a huge part of the value equation!

Eliminate the guesswork that comes with ordering online and get your blue light glasses at Norwalk Vision Center in Norwalk. We’ll ensure that you get the perfect fit, quality and comfort thanks to our highly trained optometric team.

Glaucoma & Your Eye Health What You Need To Know

Eye Doctor in Norwalk |  Norwalk Vision Center

Eye Doctor in Norwalk | Norwalk Vision Center

Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in people over the age of 40. In honor of National Glaucoma Awareness Month, here’s what we think you should know about this sight-threatening eye disease.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve, usually due to high pressure within the eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP). Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to irreversible vision loss, known as ‘tunnel vision,’ and eventually blindness.

The ‘Silent Thief of Sight’

This serious eye condition is known as ‘the silent thief of sight’ as it is often diagnosed too late to avoid irreparable vision loss. This is because glaucoma does not cause pain or any obvious symptoms until the eye has been extensively damaged. The only way to reduce your risk of permanent vision loss is to undergo regular comprehensive eye exams starting from the age of 40, even if you show no symptoms.

Who’s at Risk?

Certain factors can increase your risk of developing glaucoma:

  • Age — your risk of developing glaucoma increases with age. Because this is true for several eye diseases, it is recommended that adults undergo yearly comprehensive eye exams beginning at age 40. This is usually the age when early signs of eye disease are detectable and changes in vision may begin.
  • Family history — people who have a close relative (parent or sibling) with glaucoma are up to 9 times more likely to develop the disease.
  • Nearsightedness — myopia, or nearsightedness, increases a person’s risk of developing glaucoma. The higher the myopia, the higher the risk.
  • Ethnicity — The African American and Hispanic populations are 3 times more likely to have glaucoma than Caucasians. Blindness due to glaucoma is about 6 times more prevalent in African Americans than in Caucasian Americans. Additionally, individuals of Asian heritage have a higher risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma, a sudden and acute form of the eye disease.
  • Other health conditions — Having diabetes puts a person at risk of developing glaucoma, and so does sustaining a previous eye injury.

Is There a Treatment for Glaucoma?

While glaucoma isn’t preventable, patients with glaucoma can undergo treatments to successfully control this condition and prevent vision loss and blindness.

Glaucoma treatments include prescription eye drops, oral medications, and a variety of surgeries that reduce inner-eye pressure. Some procedures involve making small incisions in the eye to help fluid drain more easily, thereby reducing the pressure. Alternatively, small devices known as shunts or stents can be inserted into the eye to increase the flow of the fluid from the eye.

How We Can Help

Here’s a fact about glaucoma that may come as a surprise: half of all people with glaucoma don’t realize they have it! That’s why having yearly comprehensive eye exams is critical to detect underlying eye disease and begin treatment as soon as possible.

At Norwalk Vision Center, we offer comprehensive eye exams and other eye care services to help keep your eyes feeling and functioning at their best.

To schedule your eye exam, call Norwalk Vision Center in Norwalk today!

Flexible Spending Accounts & Vision Benefits

Prescription Eyeglasses & Eye Exam in Norwalk

Prescription Eyeglasses & Eye Exam in Norwalk

Over 50% of consumers didn’t use their vision benefits last year! Make the most of your 2021 vision benefits by understanding what your Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account cover.

How Does FSA Work?

When you sign up for an FSA, money from each paycheck is automatically deposited into an account. An FSA provides you with tax-free dollars that can be used to pay for health care expenses, including eye care needs.

An FSA usually covers vision expenses like:

  • Copayments and deductibles (but not insurance premiums)
  • Routine eye exams
  • Contact lenses
  • Prescription sunglasses

But here’s the catch: You must use your FSA benefits or you’ll lose them since they don’t roll over to the next year, unless your employer offers a short grace period to use the previous year’s benefits. To take advantage of this valuable benefit, schedule your annual eye exam.

How Does HSA Work?

Depending on your insurance plan, your employer may offer an HSA instead of an FSA. An HSA, which also offers tax-saving benefits, is typically offered with high deductible insurance plans. The difference between your FSA and your HSA is that the money put into an HSA does not have a “use it or lose it” policy. It can be used the next year.

Like an FSA you can usually utilize your HSA dollars to purchase glasses and pay for other vision-related expenses like eye exams, prescription sunglasses, and contacts.

The Importance of Eye Exams

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor can not only determine whether you need prescription glasses or contact lenses, but can also check for common eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts.

Regularly scheduled eye exams keep you and your eye doctor up to date with changes in vision and general health as you age. During a typical eye exam, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests designed to catch eye conditions and diseases early, before they cause irreversible damage.

After the age of 40, the risk of eye diseases increases, making regular eye exams even more important. Early detection is key to preventing and detecting eye health problems.

Visit your Eye Doctor Today!

The importance of a yearly eye exam is not only about safeguarding your vision; it’s also about safeguarding your general health. By observing changes in your vision and the eye itself, your eye doctor can detect early warning signs of health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure before serious symptoms may occur. Start the new year looking great with clear, healthy vision by using your FSA and HSA benefits Go ahead and schedule that exam with Norwalk Vision Center to keep your eyes healthy.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Healthy Eyes in 2021

Prescription Eyeglasses in Norwalk |  Norwalk Vision Center

Prescription Eyeglasses in Norwalk | Norwalk Vision Center

With 2021 just around the corner, you might be thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. Your eye health should be at the top of your priority list, and with the New Year nearly here, it’s important to maintain or create habits that will promote good health.

5 easy eye-healthy resolutions to consider adding to your list.

Schedule an Annual Eye Exam | Optometrist | Norwalk Vision Center

If you haven’t been to the eye doctor in a while, now is the time to call and schedule an appointment. An annual eye exam is crucial because even if your vision and eye health seem fine, an exam can uncover the early stages of many eye diseases before they can cause irreversible damage. An eye doctor can even spot signs of other potential health issues by checking your eyes, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even many cardiovascular conditions. So, start off the new year right with an eye exam.

Wear Sunglasses

The sun’s UV rays aren’t just harmful to your skin, but to your eyes as well. UV rays have also been shown to be a major contributing factor in the development of many serious eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and more. So start the new year wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV rays whenever you are outside during the day, no matter the season.

Rest Your Eyes

Daily and prolonged computer use can lead to computer vision syndrome. Eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes are just some symptoms that may occur when using a digital screen for long periods of time. Give your eyes regular relief by following the 20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes.

Follow a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is a popular New Year’s resolution, as many look towards being healthier after the holiday season. It’s important to eat a balanced diet, not just for your overall health but also to promote good vision.

A diet containing the right amount of certain vitamins and minerals can boost your eyes’ health and help reduce the risk of certain eye conditions and vision loss.

For example, vitamin C — found in oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and peppers — can help slow cataracts and prevent macular degeneration.

Vitamin E also serves as a great antioxidant and agent against cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin E can be found in many nuts and dried fruit, like almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts, as well as dried apricots.

Educate Yourself!

Take the time to learn about common eye conditions, including the signs, symptoms, and causes, as this can help you recognize any changes in your vision. The earlier an eye condition is detected, the better chance you have of preventing or managing it.

If you notice any vision changes, or if it’s time for your annual eye exam, schedule an appointment with Norwalk Vision Center for professional advice and treatment.

15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effects on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that could pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments or particles (wood working, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date, and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

At Norwalk Vision Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 203-822-7092 or book an appointment online to see one of our Norwalk eye doctors.

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