3 Cool Things Happening in Optical Right Now

3 Cool things happening in Optical Right now

 

We know, going to the optometrist can be boring, I mean it’s not as bad as the dentist’s office, but we get it some people just don’t know how to have fun ;). But despite its boring exterior, the world of Eyewear and optometry are constantly changing and growing. With new innovations happening all the time it would be almost impossible to keep track of them all, so here are just a couple new developments for you to get excited about!

 

  1. Activity Tracking Glasses

Have you ever thought to yourself “dang I would love to know exactly how many steps I take in a day, but fitbits are just so gauche, and I would need at least 4 different colors to go with all of my outfits!”? Well VSP has a new line of glasses that are perfect for you! The styles are a bit limited right now, but depending on the success of the base models, we could see more in the near(ish) future. Each frame features a magnetometer, an accelerometer and, a gyroscope that are installed into the left temple, there is also a battery in there! The battery has a lifespan of a few days, and there is a hidden charging port also located in the left temple (it’s all in the video below).

 

https://youtu.be/0Tk1pN4NFkk

“If nobody counts them did they really happen?”

What’s even cooler about these specs, is that whenever you hit the activity goals you have set for yourself, an eye exam is donated to an underprivileged group of your choice (Veterans, Children, Homeless). These glasses were expected to hit the market sometime in March, but unfortunately we have yet to see them. When they do release, the price point as of now seems to be pretty reasonable, which means these glasses will be accessible for most everyone!

      2. Smart Glasses, That look kind of cool…. We think?

I am sure that most of you have heard of “Google Glass,” so you know that this isn’t a first, but smart glasses (like the ones in movies with HUDs etc.) are an inevitable product that will probably be within the realm of standard purchases within the next 5 to 10 years. While “Google Glass” was a bulky and overt accessory, Vue (a kickstarter funded manufacturer) glasses are sleek and stylish, offering seamless integration without a bulky camera attached to the front of your frames.

and you thought fitbits were gauche

These specs boast a plethora of features: touch controls (located on the temples), audio playback (through bone conduction, also in the temples), some visual alerts, a microphone for inbound/outbound calls, and activity tracking. There are a number of other features that are unlocked through integration between the glasses and an app on your smartphone.

The frames are currently in the pre-order stage of manufacturing, and are offering two basic frame shapes, round and rectangle. In addition they offer prescription, plano, polarized, and clear lenses as options. There seems to be a fair amount of anticipation surrounding this particular iteration of smart glasses, and they are regularly posting updates on their status for bringing the product to market.

       3. Lenses That Can Focus Themselves

Yes I know, the idea of never having to wear a progressive again is probably something that is very VERY appealing to a substantial number of people, but this just seems too good to be true. Well thankfully it isn’t, there are multiple companies that have tried their hand at lenses that have adjustable focus. Most of those companies had a product that was very limited in prescription range, or style selection, and the ability to focus the lenses came from a manual slider adjustment. These lenses relied on a lipid layer (I know super specific and easy to understand…) over the top of the lenses. This lipid layer changed the focal point (or refractive state) of the lenses, allowing for variable focus in the lenses.

You can finally get around to reading that self help book about reading”

A new company based out of Israel is currently taking a different approach. They are using an alternative method that has been successfully employed in cell phone camera lenses. The focusing agent, in these lenses, is liquid crystal (I know it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie) which is really cool. The crystal liquid is hooked up to a sensor that refracts the light into your eye at the proper point based on your prescription (as the distance between you and objects changes). Currently there is a latency between the change of distance and the change of the prescription, but the hope (I’m sure) is that by the time these glasses release that problem will have been eliminated.

Along with my cre8t0rs”

Thanks for checking out our list, we will be releasing a part 2 so if we missed something here be sure to keep an “eye” (;)) out for more articles on this subject!

 

Sources:

 

https://www.enjoyvue.com/

 

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600963/eyeglasses-that-can-focus-themselves-are-on-the-way/

 

 

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Astigmatism

Astigmatism, it’s a word that you will hear often when people are talking about eye-wear corrections, but what exactly is it? Most of us are aware that it has something to do with the eye being misshapen, but in what way exactly? The best way to describe it is to compare the eye to something more familiar. A “perfect” cornea (the soft portion of the eye where light is focused onto the lense) is usually more spherical in shape, like a baseball, an astigmatic cornea (or eye) is more conical in shape, like a football. This causes light to be refracted unevenly onto the lens at the back of the eye, thus lowering the quality of your vision.

Now that we have defined the basics of astigmatism, let’s take a closer look at the three primary types of astigmatism. First of all there is myopic (or nearsighted) Astigmatism, this is where the astigmatism causes nearsightedness. There is also an astigmatism that causes farsightedness, and mixed astigmatism. Which presents when the principal meridians (the steepest, and most flat parts of the eye) are both farsighted and nearsighted. There is one other kind of astigmatism, lenticular. This is not as common as the other types of astigmatism, because it is caused by a misshapen lens.

 

 

After those classifications there are even more subcategories of astigmatism that are based off of the angles of the principal meridians. This may seem like mumbo jumbo at this point, but to doctors those angles have a substantial amount of importance, as irregular astigmatism is often indicative of an eye injury, or some other underlying eye condition.

So why is all this important and how do we fix it? Well astigmatism is a particularly frustrating thing to have as it often can make objects at a distance blurry, as well as objects in close proximity to you. This of course can cause a great deal of frustration, and what’s more, most children are born with some form of astigmatism or another, and because most things are blurry for them, they can go years without indicating to someone that they are having visual difficulties. So it is important to have your child’s vision screened regularly.

As far as correcting this is concerned, this is accomplished by adding (or removing if you are farsighted) power to the lens of your glasses. This power is often referred to as cylinder. The reason that this correction is marked differently is because this power is located at a specific “axis,” which is what allows it to refract light in the specific way that is most advantageous to your visual correction.

The axis somewhat refers to the angle at which light is redirected through the cornea. This number between 0 and 180 plays an important role in the way that you see through your glasses, in that it directs light to a very specific area of the retina, which allows for your vision to be optimized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see there is a lot that goes into diagnosing and correcting astigmatism, and there are numerous factors that change how it is corrected. But our hope is that with this new information you can better understand some of the numbers on your vision prescription!

 

 

 

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I Have Cataracts, Now What?

As many of you are well aware, there are a number of changes that happen throughout our lives to our body. A number of these changes occur within the eye, whether it is a variation in the acuity of our sight, or simply a change in the ability of your eyes to focus, these changes are unavoidable. Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are well versed in these changes as they are the most common in the general populace and cause all of us frustration at some point. One of the most common changes is the development of Cataracts.

Cataracts develop for a number of reasons, the most common being age related. If you are over the age of 60 it is very likely that cataracts have started to develop, and you could already be experiencing their effects on your vision. Other risk factors include (but are not limited to): infection, injury, diabetes, exposure to ultraviolet light, medications, and trauma. Some babies can even be born with cataracts, so it is important to be informed and monitor the eye health of both the young and the young at heart 😉 (part of why it’s so important to stay up to date with your annual eye exam!).

So what exactly are cataracts you ask? While all the factors that contribute to the development of cataracts are unknown, the treatment options for cataracts are very successful! Cataracts develop when protein “deposits” form on the lens of your eye. The lens of your eye is composed of transparent flexible tissue (like a jellyfish!) that is located at the “back” of the eye (behind the iris, pupil, and cornea), that helps to focus light on your retina. These deposits cause cloudy or foggy vision, double vision, problems with glare (especially at night while driving), and can even change the way you see color! With such a gambit of symptoms, it is important that you seek professional help from your eye care provider to provide an accurate diagnosis.

The current treatment for cataracts is a very quick, painless, and effective outpatient procedure. During the procedure your eye will be dilated and cleaned, then the Ocular Surgeon will remove the lens in the affected eye, and replace it with a man-made lens (cool I know). This procedure has a very high success rate, and relatively few potential complications. After the surgery it is important to schedule follow up appointments with your eye care provider (we hope that’s us!) and to follow the instructions provided to you by the surgeon. There may be some limitations in what physical activities you can perform, such as heavy lifting and bending over, as a general rule anything that could increase the pressure in your eye and cause/aggravate inflammation. In most cases your eye will be fully healed within 8 weeks, but it is important that you have your eye health monitored regularly by a professional after that (and all the time if you ask me!).

While it is unlikely that you can avoid cataracts forever, there are a number of risk factors that you can mitigate with some simple habits. Wearing sunglasses and brimmed hats can help reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that damages your eye, and coincidentally can look super cool (especially if your sunglasses are from Eye-Q-Optometry). It is also important to protect your eyes from the ultra violet rays emitted by technological devices (tablets, phones, televisions etc.) by wearing glasses that have blue light reflecting coatings and not using your devices in the dark.

You can also help prevent cataracts by eating healthier, research has found that eating leafy green vegetables, and fruits rich with antioxidants can help improve overall eye health and delay cataracts. Quitting smoking can also reduce your risk. Lastly, of course, it is important to stay up to date with your eye care provider on all aspects of your eye health, especially as you get older. Close monitoring of your eye health (especially if you are diabetic) will almost always save you from vision loss due to medical eye conditions. If you have any other questions or are worried that you might be experiencing cataracts or any other vision difficulties don’t hesitate to contact us! Our contact information is listed at the end of this article, along with our sources. Thanks for reading! And as always have a great day!

 

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Sources:

 

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/what-are-cataracts#1

 

https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts

 

Why Does (almost) Everyone Need Reading Glasses as They Get Older?

Why Does (Almost) Everyone Need Reading Glasses as They get Older?

 

So I am sure that as a regular everyday person, you have noticed that age changes a lot of things. Whether it is your passion for Saturday morning cartoons, or that one indie-rap-noise band, age changes a lot about how you go about everyday life. As you age certain aspects of your vision are also prone to change, as a younger person these changes are usually gradual and (hopefully) minute.

But as we get older, especially around the age of 40, it can seem that our vision takes a pretty steep dive. The reality is however, that around 40 most everybody begins to experience a loss of vision that is often classified as Presbyopia, which is a natural part of the human aging process.

 

Presbyopia will show itself in many different ways, you might find that reading (especially cell phones and books with smaller print) has become more difficult, even with your regular prescription glasses. It was long thought that this was caused by an atrophy of the muscles that cause flexion of the eye and allow for focus. It is now understood that Presbyopia is in fact cause by a rigidity in the lens of your eye. This rigidity is caused by age and use of the lense over your lifespan.

Now you are probably thinking, if I am nearsighted (myopic) shouldn’t I be able to focus on items that are close to me? Unfortunately there is almost not a single person who won’t at some point suffer from Presbyopia. It is an age related malady that really is more of a natural result of having lived rather than a disease of sorts. So what do you do about it?

That is where your Eye Care Provider comes in, your Eye Care Provider is more than well enough equipped to help diagnose and solve many of the symptoms caused by Presbyopia. There are a number of options to pursue depending on your need(s). The first option is of course a magnifying lens that allows your eyes to focus at a more comfortable distance, these are commonly known as “readers” and sometimes (depending on your prescriptive needs) you could even purchase a pair at your local drugstore. If you have more specific visual needs, or want glasses that you can wear at all times, you could look into bifocal, trifocal, and progressive options (there are even “bifocal” contact lenses). Each one of these options comes with a substantial number of customization options. We often have people who want glasses with different focal ranges for doing multiple close-up detailed tasks. These “trade specific” progressives can help you do anything from use multiple computer screens at once, to building models and use the same pair of glasses to read the directions. Your glasses can be made to fit almost whatever needs you have visually.

It is always important to see your Eye Care Provider annually, not only to monitor eye health, but also to allow them to help keep the quality of vision as high as possible. You may be missing out on the best vision you could have and not even know it! So if you are finding that you are having difficulty focusing on near vision tasks, don’t panic it happens to all of us, schedule an exam with your Eye Care Provider and let them help you get the best vision possible!

 

 

 

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