Understanding Your Eye Exam

You use your eyes every waking moment of every day.  But you may not think much about them, until something is off. It can be alarming, even scary, to experience sudden discomfort or changes to your vision. When that happens, you’ll likely be dialing for your eye doctor ASAP. Even when nothing noticeably changes, it’s a good practice to get an annual eye exam. Like every other part of your body, your eyes need regular check-ups to proactively look for issues and to make sure your eyeglasses prescription is up to date.

When you visit the optometrist, you’ll get an exam so your doctor can assess your vision. An exceptional vision exam requires both precision and professional guidance. Both are extremely important in getting the most beneficial result from your exam. Here are a few of the characteristics of a standard eye exam.

Questions


Your interaction with the doctor will begin with questions about your visual history, and what your lifestyle is like, whether your daily routine includes manual labor or other physical activity, going to school, staring at a computer etc.

Your optometrist will also ask you if anything specific is bringing you in for an exam, whether it be changes to your vision, eye strain, pain, or anything “off” that can be related to your eyes or vision. Answering these questions to the best of your ability will help your doctor make the best decisions with regard to your vision. Your doctor is committed to helping you find the best prescription and the best solution to any eye troubles you may have. So be honest! If you are getting headaches, or you find yourself taking off your glasses to read these days, say so. These little details will help your doctor to help you.

Visual Acuity and Muscle Behavior

An exam you may take with an optometrist, at the DMV or with the school nurse is known as the vision acuity test. Officially this is called a Snellen chart. This is the standard eye test we all know and love, where you’re asked to cover one eye and read usually the smallest row of letters that you can. This is a basic test to find out how clearly you can see.

The doctor will also perform a test on your eye muscles to assess coordination. This part of the exam involves a pen or a light that the doctor will move back and forth in front of you. While your eyes follow the designated object, the doctor will evaluate the coordination of your eye muscles to identify any problems.

The Refraction Assessment

While every vision center has their own process, all exams at 10/10 Optics will start off with an Auto Refractor. This is a machine that helps your doctor to objectively measure the prescription that will best suit your vision needs and ultimately help you see clearly! An “Autorefractor”, “Automated Refractor” or “Auto Refractor” are different terms for the same machine which is controlled by a computer that your doctor will be operating during your exam. It allows your doctor to see how exactly how light changes as it enters your eyes.

Next, your doctor will use a digital Nidek 5100, which is a sophisticated computerized machine that can intelligently refract to singular degrees with laser-like precision. This machine is essentially a more fine-tuned auto refractor, and helps to finalize the prescription that you need. While an auto refactor can be manual or digital, but as technology improves more doctors are opting for the precision of digital equipment

You’ve probably had some experience with this machine or seen it used in TV or movie depictions of optometrist offices. This is the part of the exam where a patient will be asked “Which is more clear, 1 or 2?”. The auto refactor is the machine you’ll be looking into that lights up with images inside. Your doctor will change these images, trying different combinations to determine your best script.

When you’re being asked “Which is more clear, 1 or 2?” this is your doctor asking you to compare the scripts he thinks may be right for you, to see which is most comfortable and to determine which prescription will work to make your vision crystal clear. 

Additional Exams

An optometrist may also perform a test called a slit-lamp examination. Using a microscope to illuminate and magnify the front of your eye with a line of light, your doctor can examine your cornea, iris, lens, lashes, eyelids and the fluid chamber between your cornea and iris. This may include a fluorescein dye to color the film of tears over your eye. This process looks for any damaged cells at the front of your eye. The dye won’t last though, your natural tears quickly wash it from the surface of your eye.

Your Prescription

After your doctor performs these tests they will use their expertise, and your experience, to formulate an individualized and nuanced prescription in detailed fractional measurements. Your comfort and ability to process visual information will be carefully considered and then your doctor will provide you with a prescription that will give the clearest possible eyesight.

Relatively quick, immeasurably beneficial, and completely non-invasive, vision exams are an important part of protecting your overall health, and will ensure you’re living your life with the most clarity (pun intended) and ease possible. Again, it is recommended that everyone has an eye exam annually. Even if you don’t feel you need one, vision exams can detect health issues before they become advanced enough to start showing symptoms that could interfere with your life. You’ll also find that even though it’s only been a year, small changes to your prescription can dramatically improve how well you’re seeing every day.
Schedule your vision exam today, we can’t wait to see you!

How To Read Your Glasses Prescription

One of the greatest advantages of a new pair of glasses is how much better it can make reading! So it’s a little funny that reading an eyeglasses prescription can prove to be so difficult. No, that’s not a “doctors have bad handwriting” joke it’s simply that an eyeglasses prescription seems to be written in a secret code that only eyewear professionals seem to understand.

The good news is, it’s not all that secret. Let’s start with some of the most common fields on an eyeglasses prescription.  Each doctor or vision center may have their own variation, but the fields are often very similar.

OD and OS = Your eyes

The OD and OS fields in an eyeglass prescription represent each of your eyes. OD, is an abbreviation for the Latin “oculus dextrus” and refers to your right eye and OS, is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “oculus sinister” which means your left eye.

Each eye has its own unique profile and all of the additional fields encompass all of the specific characteristics of each eye.

SPH/Sphere/PWR

Depending on the provider this field may be written in multiple ways but all of these abbreviations refer to the same thing: the prescribed amount of lens power for nearsightedness or farsightedness.

The plus (+) and minus (-) signs in front of the number indicate whether you are farsighted (a + sign), or nearsighted (a - sign).  These numbers are measured in diopters, or “D”.  A diopter is an important unit of measurement in optometry that represents the amount of focusing power the lens of your eye requires to achieve proper vision quality.

As for the numbers themselves, generally, numbers closer to zero represent better your eyesight. Higher numbers typically require more vision correction and therefore a stronger prescription.

CYL & AXIS

If you see CYL, which stands for “Cylinder” and “Axis” in your prescription, you friend, have astigmatism. Having astigmatism simply means that there is an imperfection in the spherical curvature of your eye. This deviation from a perfectly spherical lens prevents light rays from meeting at a common focus and results in distorted images.  It’s a fairly common reason that people need vision correction.

Astigmatism can include numbers with + or – signs, as an astigmatism can be combined with nearsightedness or farsightedness. Again the higher the number, the greater the degree of correction required.

Cylinder measures the degree of your astigmatism in diopters while Axis, which is anywhere between 0 and 180 degrees, measures the orientation of an astigmatism, identifying exactly where the deviation in your lens shape occurs.

This prescription will often be written as S x C x A. That’s the sphere (the number of diopters of near or farsightedness) by the degree of your astigmatism by the location of the deviation in the curvature of your lens. 

ADD

ADD doesn’t apply to everyone, this component of a prescription applies only to those who require multi-focal lenses. This is the additional magnifying power that is needed to correct presbyopia. Presbyopia is an age related condition that develops over time and affects a person’s ability to focus actively on nearby objects. For example, reading a book. This number usually appears with a + sign and is the same for both eyes.

Prism and Base

Also measured in diopters, and also only applicable to some people, prism measures the amount of prismatic power needed to compensate for problems with eye alignment. In conjunction with a prism, people needing this correction will also have a Base measurement. This number identifies the thickest edge of the Prism.

PD (Pupillary Distance)

An eyeglasses prescription may also include your PD or pupillary distance. This is the exact distance in millimeters, between the centers of each of your pupils. It tells the optician making your glasses exactly where to put the optical center of each lens. In order for your glasses to work properly this measurement needs to be precise, and the ease of getting this wrong in a self-measurement is one of the many reasons not to buy glasses online.

Your eyeglasses prescription may include other remarks from your doctor, like what kinds of lenses are recommended or single vision, multi focal or readers. It may also specify a lens coating if the doctor feels that photo chromatic or tinted are required.

Just like your eyes, your glasses prescription is unique and belongs only to you! While there’s no need to become an expert on the abbreviations or science behind optometry, it’s always good to know what the numbers and symbols on your prescription mean. But the most important thing to know is, you should always feel completely comfortable asking your doctor and optician any and all of your questions.

Sunglasses Fashion Tips: Finding Your Perfect Pair!

Here’s a scenario: You love your best friend’s new shades, you ask to try them on, but you hate how they look on you. It happens to the best of us. It’s probably because your friend has a different face shape or coloring than you. But the good news is, the perfect pair of sunglasses for your face is out there. You just need to find them and we can help. Here are some of our favorite tips for choosing the perfect frames that will accentuate your features and compliment your face.

The Shape of Your Awesome Face

 Square

 If you have a square shaped face, you probably have features like a structured jawline and strong forehead. These distinct lines and angles create a unique look that make you the perfect candidate for curvy frames. You’ll have many options to choose from like a classic round or oval shape. Even fierce cat eye and butterfly shades can work really well with a square shaped face.

Oval

If you have an oval shaped face, you can rock just about any shaped sunglasses. Your best bet though is to find a pair that are structured and angular like a rectangular, square, or geometric shape. Why? Because these shapes will emphasize the horizontal orientation or your face with a strong vertical to create a defining look for you. But do take sizing into consideration and shoot for moderation by not going too big or too small.  

Heart

With a heart shape, your face is typically distinguished by a broad forehead, wide cheekbones and a narrower jawline. With your features try out a sexy cat eye look or pick up a pair of circular lenses that will accentuate these elements. Additionally, frames with thicker bottoms will emphasize those exceptional cheekbones.

Round

If your face is circular with soft features, the width and height of your facial structure is relatively equivalent. So with this particular shape, wide geometric frames will usually be a solid bet. Angular styles will contrast your natural curves and create a longer and thinner look for your beautiful face.

Color and Style

 Sunglasses lenses and frames can come in a variety of colors. In lenses blacks, grays and browns are among the most common but blue, green, yellow, amber or rose lenses can also help you make a fashion statement. Colored frames like white, red or blue can be another great way to stand out from the crowd.

Colored lenses and frames can also contrast your complexion, adding color to pale faces and popping against darker tones.  Cooler skin tones might want to consider lenses tinted blue, rose or green. If you have a warmer complexion red, yellow, or orange lens colors could be exactly the accent you need.

Some colors have the benefits of giving a retro feel while still being modern and trendy. Just remember if you’re going bold with your shades, it may be a good idea to minimize your other statement pieces by pairing them with few other accessories and letting your sunglasses shine.

Safety and Fashion

Remember that sunglasses are for protection. Stylish protection, but protection nonetheless. Make sure you’re getting 100% UV protection when purchasing your new shades, this will allow them to do their job and prevent damage to your eyes while also adding to your look.  

Look for polarized sunglasses whenever possible. Polarization helps to reduce reflected glare from shiny surfaces like water and can be useful when you’re driving because they cut down on the glare that may come from the road or even your car’s hood. Glare is more than just an annoyance, it can be dangerous. The glare from UV light can impair your depth perception, and even distort your view. So no matter the shape or color, your sunglasses should ideally be polarized.

When it comes to sunglasses bigger is usually better. Yes, massive frames are delightfully dramatic but there’s another reason that bigger frames are a good choice. Bigger frames provide more coverage and are more effective at keeping the sun from entering your eyes.

Colored lenses can be an awesome look, but they may also distort the colors of objects you’re looking at. Additionally, some colored lenses work better in certain weather conditions, for example, rose colored glasses may be great in snowy weather while yellow can be helpful in foggy or smoggy conditions. Just remember with colored lenses, as edgy as they may be, if you can’t see well through them, they probably aren’t for you or at least not for that day.

Darker lenses do not necessarily protect you better. Surprised? It’s true! The darkness of the shade does not necessarily reflect their UV protection level. Actually, dark lenses without the proper level of UV protection can hurt your eyes. The dark tint can cause your pupils to dilate which actually lets more harmful light in. Go dark, if that’s the look you want, but check the UV coverage. Don’t just assume that darker is safer and instead make sure your shades have at least 95% UV protection. But 100% is better.


Also, good news if you love your shades, you don’t only need them at the beach or on bright sunny days. Even on cloudy days UV light is strong. That means you have a great excuse for wearing your favorite sunglasses anytime you go out.

Finally, don’t forget if you love the shape of your regular glasses frames, you can turn them into sunglasses by swapping out your lenses for a photochromatic lens that will change based on the lighting conditions around you.

If you look for sunglasses that complement your skin tone and features, before you know it, you’ll be the friend inspiring sunglasses envy.

 

Glasses vs. Contacts - How to Know What’s Right For You

If you’re one of the 73% of Americans who need vision correction, you probably wear glasses or use contacts already. If you’re not, stop hurting your eyes and get on that!

But which corrective option is more popular?

According to the Vision Council of America, 64% of Americans that need optical help wear glasses, and about 11% of them wear contacts (either exclusively, or in conjunction with their glasses).

Which one is right for you though?

Whether you choose to wear glasses or contacts mostly depends on your own personal preference. You lifestyle, when you will be using your glasses or contacts, personal comfort, budget, and the aesthetic appearance you’d like to have, all impact this choice.

Glasses tend to be the popular choice for those who need corrective help, especially if you’re new to the world of being visually challenged. Glasses require regular cleaning but that’s significantly less maintenance than contact lenses, which require at least daily cleaning and rinsing and periodic deep disinfection. Contacts also require more frequent replacement. All of these steps are vital to avoid serious infections.

With so much to consider, here is some of our advice on making this important choice for your eyes.

A Case For Glasses

Prescription eyeglasses are a convenient, and fashionable, way to improve your vision. If you have naturally sensitive or dry eyes, glasses are less likely to exacerbate those issues. In fact, glasses can actually protect your eyes from harsh environmental factors like wind, dust and any floating debris that might make its way to into your eyes. The only downside to this is that they can be affected by elements like steam or water as they can fog up or collect rain droplets that can be annoying when you’re hustling in the a downpour.

If you decide to add photochromic lenses into the mix, they’ll block 100% of harmful UV rays that could damage your eyes and, because glasses shield the exterior of the eye and eyelid, you’ll be covered all around. Wearing glasses also drastically reduces the need to touch your actual eyeball (as you may need to regularly do if you wear contacts) which can lessen the likelihood of irritating your eyes or causing a nasty infection.

Glasses also tend to be more cost effective in the long run than contacts as they don’t need to be replaced unless you accidentally break them or your script changes (in which case you can always opt to have just the lenses replaced instead of the frames too).

Other Factors to Consider

Because glasses don’t actually touch your eyes (they sit about ½ an inch away from your eyeball) your peripheral vision may be lightly distorted, especially while you’re breaking them in and your eyes are adjusting to their newfound clarity, particularly if you have a strong prescription or astigmatism.

Glasses are generally very comfortable and easy to wear, when they are fit properly by a trained optometrist. This is one of the many reasons it is always better to buy glasses in person rather than online. Overall a great pair of glasses can truly amplify your style. With thousands of frame designs, it’s possible that you just haven’t found the right pair that works best for your unique face. Working with a professional eyewear stylist can help change the way you see yourself in glasses. Pun, absolutely intended. 

What About Contacts?

The other daily option to explore in the realm of corrective vision is contact lenses. Contacts conform to the curvature of your eye, and move with your eye, so you’ll experience less distortion than with glasses and have a clear, wider field of view. However if your contacts aren’t fit right or are in need of replacement they may dry out or shift causing blurriness.

Probably the most common reason people choose contacts is that contacts won’t change your appearance in any way (no eye size illusions or clashing with your outfit), unless you use colored contacts for fun.

They’re also unaffected by light and weather, so you won’t deal with glare or fogged lenses when you enter a warm building after being in the cold. Another plus? Not having an accessory on your face means you’re free to go running without worrying they’ll fall off. You also don’t have to take them off and put them back on if you decide it’s a ponytail kind of day.

You can also be free to wear whatever sunglasses you want to without having to worry about keeping track of your regular glasses as well as prescription sunglasses, and you won’t have to worry about them breaking.

There’s also another kind of contact called “Ortho-K” contacts. These are a bit different than regular contacts as they are not for daytime wear. Ortho-K contacts are worn overnight, allowing them to reshape your cornea while you’re asleep so you don’t have to wear any contacts or glasses throughout the following day. Ortho-k is an FDA approved, non-surgical means to improving your eyesight. 

 Are There Any Downsides to Wearing Contacts?

Proper care is everything with contacts. According to the American Optometric Association, about 45 million Americans choose to wear contacts. However, 45% of them don’t replace their lenses as often as they should, and 6 of every 7 lens-wearers admit to at least one regular practice that puts them in serious danger of infection.

Additionally, it’s reported that 1 in every 500 contact-wearers contracts a serious eye infection that could lead to blindness ever year. Contacts can also cause (or worsen, if you’re already prone to) “dry eyes” since they are directly covering your eyes which reduces the amount of oxygen reaching them.

You may also experience dry, irritated, sandy-feeling, red eyes if you fall asleep wearing daily lenses.  If this is a reoccurring issue for you, you might want to consider extended wear contacts which you can wear for up to 30 days, although you may still want to take them out occasionally, just to let your eyes breathe.

If you work at a computer and experience any symptoms of “computer vision syndrome” contacts may also amplify those symptoms. You will also want to consider that even if you plan to wear contacts, you should still keep an up-to-date pair of glasses on hand in case you get an eye infection, your eyes feel irritated or like they need a break, or if you’re sick (germy hands + directly touching your eye = bad).

Remember You’re Not On Your Own

Whether you decide to wear glasses or contacts is ultimately up to your personal preference, what you feel is going to be most convenient for you, and whether or not you feel more comfortable wearing something over your eyes or directly on them. You should also be honest about your own ability or willingness to stay on top of proper care. In either case, always consult your optometrist about all of your questions and concerns with your vision or new corrective eyewear.

 

 

                                               

Sunglasses and Prescriptions

Everyone should be able to enjoy a bright sunny day. The great outdoors in all its sunlit splendor is an instant mood-booster. The sun provides you with an extra kick of vitamin D for the day, and spending time outside can even be good for your mental and physical health. But along with time in the sun, comes an accessory that can be problematic for some: sunglasses.

Anyone who wears prescription lenses or contacts has probably found themselves wondering if prescription sunglasses are worth it. Especially during those infuriating commutes when you’re driving towards a setting sun and completely blinded by it. So if you’re wondering how to enjoy your time in the sun, or at least make your drive home safer, here are a few options to consider. 

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No, Wearing Glasses Won't Make Your Eyesight Worse

If you have perfect vision, congratulations! You, my friend, are in the minority. As it stands, more than 61% of the US population wears glasses, contacts, or both to correct their vision.

However, some of these individuals are hesitant to wear their corrective eyewear out of the fear that glasses will “make their eyes weaker”, or make them more dependent on their lenses than they already are. 

We’re here to let you know that there’s no reason to be afraid! Glasses won’t make your vision worse. To understand why this isn’t true, we’ll lay out some important information that every glasses wearer should know. 

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Would a Cat Eye Frame Look Good On Me?

Audrey Hepburn. Marilyn Monroe. Katy Perry. Scarlet Johannsen. What do all of the women have in common, aside from being gorgeous and famous of course?

They all knew how to rock cat eye glasses frames.

We watch the celebrity magazines and the red carpet events and see these beautiful faces wearing cat eye shaped glasses and sunglass and wonder…

Can I get that look? Would a cat eye frame look good on me?

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The Trouble With Buying Glasses Online

We can do just about anything from the comfort of home these days. Want food delivered? Grubhub. Endless hours of entertainment? Netflix. Clothes, gifts and groceries? Amazon.

We live in a time of epic convenience. So shouldn’t that convenience extend to cover buying new glasses and contacts?

Ok, we love things that are convenient too. But eyewear is where we draw the line.  Sure virtual “try-on” tools are fun to play with and it’s tempting to think that you can pick a pair of frames without leaving your couch. But trust us, when it comes to an essential item that will be a part of your daily look, nothing measures up to an in-person appointment.

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How to Clean Your Eyeglasses

How many times have you watched someone take off their glasses, breathe on them to create some type of moisture and then wipe them on a shirt or pants? Probably so frequently that this actually seems like the normal method of cleaning glasses.  Chances are you’ve done it too! No judgment.

Sure it’s easy and fast and whatever giant smudge was obscuring your vision is gone so it seems effective. But is it really? While cleaning glasses this way may seem like a widely accepted short term solution, it has the potential to do more long term damage to your lenses than you might think.

So how should you be cleaning your eyeglasses to ensure you can see as clearly as possible as long as possible?

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Pain in the Glasses: Dealing with Common Sources of Discomfort

You found a beautiful pair of frames that compliment your face. You love them.  But you don’t love when they create discomfort. Sometimes our favorite glasses can cause nose pain, nose marks, eye strain, and can even cause pain behind your ears. The first step to avoiding these eyewear annoyances is having glasses that fit correctly. That’s why it’s so important to work with a professional who can fit them properly to your face.  Incorrect fit it usually the biggest reason why your glasses can cause discomfort.

But even when your glasses fit as well as possible, minor issues can arise. Here are some tips to help deal with these common sources of discomfort.

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Choosing the Best Glasses for Your Look

Shopping for new glasses can be fun and exciting. But standing in front of a wall of hundreds of pairs of glasses trying to find the right one can become overwhelming. You’ll be wearing these glasses every day, the frames you choose will become an essential part of your daily look.

This is a big decision!

With so many styles, shapes, materials and color possibilities how do you choose the one that will best accentuate your personal style?

Eyewear stylists have the expertise to help guide you toward a pair of glasses that you’ll love. But if you’re on your own, here are some things to keep in mind when trying to narrow down your choices.

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