Keep an Eye On Safety, Not Fashion This Halloween!

One of the hottest accessories for Halloween costumes in recent years are decorative contact lenses. When choosing accessories for your Halloween costume, protect your vision and avoid an unwanted scare by wearing only ophthalmologist-approved contact lenses from trusted manufacturers.

Over-the-counter decorative contact lenses have become popular in novelty shops and are easily purchased online, but consumers have no way of knowing whether the products are safe to wear.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology strongly warns against using any over-the-counter non-prescription contact lenses. These lenses may be made with harmful materials that can cause painful corneal ulcers or keratitis, leading to impaired vision or blindness. In addition, lenses with designs printed on them have rough surfaces which can scratch the eye, allowing bacteria to cause infection and potentially blindness. A recent study tested five varieties of decorative lenses and found three contained chlorine and four types of lenses contained iron.

Consumers can obtain FDA-approved decorative contact lenses from reputable manufacturers with a prescription. Your ophthalmologist can provide a copy of your contact lens prescription, giving you the option of buying lenses from an eye care professional or legitimate online retailer. Always buy your contact lenses from a seller that requires a valid prescription.

Ask your ophthalmologist about the risks before you purchase costume lenses, and have your eyes examined right away if you have used over-the-counter lenses. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

October 1, 2018

Smartphones and Sun Exposure Can Speed Up Macular Degeneration

A new study claims that blue light emitted from digital devices, including smartphones and tablets, may lead to macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease that leads to significant vision loss in people age 50 or older and the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.

While this study makes a connection between blue light and vision loss later in life, more research is needed to determine how much natural and man-made blue light is "too much."

According to the Vision Council, nearly one-third of adults spend more than half their waking hours using a digital device. Even more alarming, nearly 32% of adults do not take any action to reduce digital eye strain.

According to this study, repeated exposure to blue light and the sun can cause retinal molecules to trigger reactions in the eye, which generate poisonous chemical molecules in photoreceptor cells and kills them. These cells do not regenerate.

A condition associated with blue light exposure is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS manifests through fatigue, headaches, blurred vision and other non-specific symptoms. Researchers also found when people use digital devices in the evening, it increases the prevalence of sleep disorders.

Fortunately, sunglasses or other task-specific eyewear that filter UV and blue light can protect the eyes. If selecting blue light-blocking lenses, be aware that most varieties distort color perception.

DuraVision BlueProtect by ZEISS Vision Care offers an exceptional anti-reflective coating with excellent light transmission that deflects the most harmful wavelengths without interfering with the body’s circadian rhythm, your natural sleep/wake cycle.

Visit your ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate your symptoms and an optical expert to fill your prescription for the appropriate task specific eyewear.

September 4, 2018

Shedding Light on Nighttime Driving Glasses

With this month’s look at task-specific eyewear, we’ll be discussing glare-reducing driving glasses ­and how they can help motorists combat distracting light glare and unwanted strain.

A recent survey confirmed what most of us already know ­­– nighttime glare decreases vision and causes discomfort.  About a third of respondents experienced difficulty visualizing road signs and judging distances, the study noted.  Over half said headlights were particularly bothersome while 50% experienced glare and light sensitivity.

The most common cause of night driving problems is the need for glasses. Improving clarity obviously enhances safety on the road.  Glasses containing a high-quality anti-reflective (AR) coating substantially reduces glare and haloes.  Our optical staff at Classic Eyewear strongly encourages the use of AR coating for all our patients’ eyewear.

There are several other causes of nighttime difficulty, the most common of which is cataracts.  Even mild cataracts which otherwise are not bothersome can cause very significant glare and haloes while night driving.  As cataracts progress, many people stop driving altogether.  Cataract surgery promptly relieves this problem and, of course, improves vision for reading, television watching and all other activities.

Another common cause of nighttime vision problems is Dry Eye Disease.  By disturbing the surface of the eye, vision decreases and glare increases.  Prompt treatment of this disorder not only improves vision, both night and day, but also improves the discomfort and pain that often occurs in dry eye sufferers.

Safely reaching your destination is always our goal. The doctors and staff of the Coastal Jersey Eye Center are here to help you stay sharp behind the wheel!

August 1, 2018