Is Blue Light Harmful to our Eyes?

Taking care of our skin from harmful light has always been a prime concern for people especially the over exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun which can lead to sunburn and even skin cancer.  Protecting our eyes from harmful light is also very important since apart from the UV rays that can wreak havoc on us, there is another light that we need to be aware of, blue light.

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So what is the blue light and how does it affect our eyes?

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Blue light comes from the sun as well as LED lights and digital device screens. Blue light is the part of the visible light spectrum which is known to produce a highest levels of energy. Blue light is the kind of light is characterized by a higher form of energy and thus it can affect deeper into our eyes when we least expect it.  We must understand that our eyes are easily affected by this kind of light.  Blue light suppresses our body's release of melatonin, which can affect our sleep cycles and can cause insomnia. Some studies have shown that when our eyes are overexposed to the blue light, it can have a negative effect on the eye’s retina that could lead to a vision disorder that usually shows up as we age. One of the vision disorders thought to be caused by blue light is called  macular degeneration.

Although more research is needed to determine how much natural and man-made blue light is harmful to the retina, many eye care providers are concerned that the added blue light exposure from computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices might increase a person's risk of macular degeneration later in life.

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Two of the most obvious and harmful effects of blue lights to our eyes are macular degeneration as well as digital eye strain. As we have mentioned earlier, the blue light is known to reach deeper into the eyes. Such instance badly affects the retina’s sensitive cells which later on leads to macular degeneration when we get older.

It is an unfortunate fact, as well that the sources of blue light are some of the things that we love to use and we have been using for almost every day. Some of these include flat screen TVs, computers, mobile phones, and other digital devices like iPads and tablets.

Another thing which makes the blue light a problem for our eyes is that digital eye strain is very common nowadays in a generation of so many digital devices such as mobile phones and tablets. What the blue light is known to emit is a scattered energy instead of a focused energy. And our eyes are more susceptible to the scattered light which leads to digital eye strain.

For this reason, Optometrists highly suggest that in order to combat the degenerative effects of the blue light is by getting blue filtering or yellow tinted lenses. These lenses can be very helpful since it can reduce the amount of discomfort that can be derived from prolonged staring exsposure to blue light. These are also helpful in limiting the exposure of our eyes to a safer level of these lights.

Other options to help reduce the amount of blue light exposure include digital device filters, and computer eye glasses with blue blocking lenses by BluTech.

Make sure to schedule an appointment today with Dr. Johnson at iCare Family Vision to discuss Blue Light and lenses that can help reduce the effect of this light.

 

Vuarnet NightLynx Lenses - Now Available

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NIGHTLYNX COLLECTION
TAKE BACK THE NIGHT!

Ever have trouble seeing at night or in low light conditions? French eyewear brand Vuarnet has a little something for you with their new NIGHTLYNX lens collection.

While VUARNET lenses have been ensuring unparalleled protection from the harmful effects of sunlight for 60 years, the Company has designed its new NIGHTLYNX lenses to amplify light when levels are low or completely absent.

This equipment is primarily intended for pilots but is also sure to please night owls and those who drive at night.

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NIGHTLYNX lenses are unique as they combine the benefits of mineral glass - purity, clarity and incomparable optical precision, with exceptional visual acuity at night and in low light condition.

NIGHTLYNX lenses are designed to deliver unmatched clarity and visual sharpness at night, dusk and dawn, as well as in the rain or fog.  While filtering 100% of UV rays, NIGHTLYNX lenses are protecting from harmful blue light. They also eliminate glare effects and noticeably improve contrast and distance perception. Sensation amplified by a bi-degraded silver mirror treatment and the multiplayer anti-reflective inside coating that attenuate other parasitic reflections.

Available in five styles, each with yellow lenses paired alongside matte black frames, visit iCare Family Vision to shop our Nightlynx assortment today.

The 21st Century Eye Exam

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The Phoropter is a common name for an ophthalmic testing device, also called a refractor. It is has been commonly used by eye care professionals during an eye examination, and contains different lenses used for refraction of the eye during sight testing, to measure an individual's refractive error and determine his or her eyeglass prescription.  The term Phoropter was trademarked by Henry DeZeng in 1921, who is also credited for one of the first eye examination devices.

The model of phoropter as pictured above has been used by many eye doctors for decades and many patients remember their first eye exam on this type of manual traditional phoropter.

Welcome to the 21st Century Eye Exam

Today, digital technology has completely transformed the way we live our lives. Digital technology has also transformed the traditional eye exam. At iCare Family Vision, we don't settle for anything less than the best digital technology, especially when it comes to something as important as your vision!

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From the moment you sit down for your eye exam at iCare Family Vision, you’ll see how far we’ve come. No more old-fashioned knobs and hand-turned lenses. Instead, Dr. Johnson uses use an advanced digital eye exam system.  Dr. Johnson’s state-of-the-art eye exam uses the latest digital technology to ensure an accurate and comfortable prescription. Digital technology is incorporated into the comprehensive evaluation in order to enhance the analysis of your overall eye health.

A common concerns we hear from patients is having a hard time “choosing between 1 or 2” because it isn’t always easy to tell which is better and they are not comfortable guessing.  No need to guess anymore!  One of the benefits of digital eye exam is that we begin with a precise digital prescription measurement that we determined during your pre-testing on our digital autorefractor.  The autorefractor determines the lens power required by your eye to accurately focus light on your retina, giving Dr. Johnson a baseline prescription in an accurate & time-saving manner in the eye exam, which reduces the number of comparisons needed to finalize the customized prescription.

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At iCare Family Vision we believe that an eye doctor having strong family values leads to the best service possible. Our eye doctor strives to provide an exceptional, personalized eye care each and every one of our patients.  In order to provide exceptional eye care, our eye doctor uses cutting-edge technology which enhances your eye care experience. Our eye doctor's goal is to provide you and your family with the most comprehensive eye care possible.

Tips For Safely Viewing The Solar Eclipse

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On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of the United States will have a solar eclipse. The moon will cover at least part of the sun for 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through, anyone within a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse. The moon will completely block the sun's bright face for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds. Day will turn into night, and (weather permitting) one of nature's most awesome sights will become visible: the sun's shimmering outer atmosphere, or corona.

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Here are six tips to safely view the solar eclipse:  

  1. Don't look directly into the sun without proper eye protection!
  2. Use approved solar eclipse viewers. The only safe way to view a partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing.
  3. Sunglasses, smoked glass, unfiltered telescopes or magnifiers, and polarizing filters are unsafe.
  4. If you can't find eclipse viewers, build a pinhole projector to watch the eclipse.
  5. Before looking at the sun, cover your eyes with the eclipse viewers while standing still. Glance at the sun, turn away and then remove your filter. Do not remove the filter while looking at the sun.
  6. Visit your doctor of optometry. If you should experience discomfort or vision problems following the eclipse, visit iCare Family Vision for a comprehensive eye examination.
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When Buying Glasses Online - Buyer Beware!

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Ever thought about buying glasses online?  Purchasing eyeglasses online may offer convenience to patients, but the American Optometric Association (AOA) warns that the consequences of making an uninformed purchase could cost you more time and money in the long run. 

The AOA stresses that eyeglasses are an investment in your health and must be custom-fitted not only to meet particular prescriptive, but also to provide the greatest level of ocular comfort which only an eye doctor can determine.  

“Without visiting an eye doctor, patients run the risk of purchasing eyeglasses online with an improper fit or receiving the wrong prescription,” said Dr. Elizabeth Johnson. “Patients can spend more time dealing with online order mistakes and making returns than had they simply visited their local eye doctor in the first place.” 

An AOA study published in coordination with the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council highlights the disadvantages of ordering eyeglasses online. The study concluded:

  • Of 200 glasses ordered online, only 154 pairs were actually received;
  • 44.8% had the wrong prescriptions or posed a safety issue;
  • 29% had at least one lens fail to match the requested prescription;
  • 19% of adult lenses failed impact resistance testing; and,
  • 25% of children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing.

Purchasing eyeglasses from a local optometrist like iCare Family Vision is the AOA’s first and foremost recommendation, but if patients are still interested in making a purchase online, the AOA strongly warn consumers to do their research before making a final decision.

“If a patient believes that ordering a pair of glasses online is in their best interest, it is important for the patient to know about the potential downsides in doing so,” said Dr. Johnson. “In multiple studies it has been revealed that nearly half of all glasses ordered online had either the wrong prescription or were made with a very low safety standard. Personally, I find that an unacceptable standard of care and a disservice to the patient. Patients deserve much better than that.”

iCare Family Vision and the AOA reccomend patients to consider the following factors before making a eyeglass purchase online:

The Fit

The fit of eyeglasses is critically important — if the fit is incorrect, not only can a patient experience discomfort, such as pinching and headaches, but can also cause additional vision problems which could affect the long term health of your eyes..

The Materials

Consumers also need to consider the various lens options available, and what is best lens for their particular prescription and lifestyle. Lenses come in various materials, such as traditional plastic, as well as thinner (high-index), lighter materials. Other considerations are the different anti-reflective coatings and UV treatments available such as non-glare coatings and photochromic (transitions) lenses. 

The Prescription

Just because the eyeglasses “look right” on your face, it doesn’t mean the measurements are correct. Pupilary distance (PD) determines where to place the optical center of each lens in your frames to customize the optics to your eyes. This measurement is necessary to ensure the eyeglasses serve your vision needs properly and you can see properly through them.  

Patients need an optometrist like Dr. Johnson at iCare Family Vision to provide the PD and to ensure precise measurements.  Measuring your PD is a service provided at no-charge with all eyeglass purchases at iCare Family Vision. The measurements needed for multi-focals and progressive lenses are more complex and can only be accurately made once the frame is selected and properly fitted to your face, so typically this measurement is simply estimated at best for eyeglasses available online.  Buyer Beware!

Why You Should Purchase Your Next Eyeglasses From iCare Family Vision

At iCare Family Vision, we stand behind our products 100%.  We guarantee the accuracy of the prescription, and the fit of your eyeglasses.  We always recommend products that will help you see clearly and that fit your lifestyle.  We offer only the finest selection of frames and lenses available. Our fashion-forward inspired optical boutique comes alive with locally-sourced furnishings and displays that provide a unique backdrop for our incredible collection of high-quality, handcrafted eyewear from around the world. Our team of American Board of Opticianry Certified (ABOC) eye care professionals will help you and your family select the perfect glasses.  

You're going to love the way you look!

 

Benefits of Digital Eyeglass Lenses

Digital Lens Benefit Overview

• The clearest, crisp vision you can get, even with a high prescription.

• An optimized lens for all lifestyle needs.

• An easy to adapt progressive lens.

• Cosmetically appealing for high prescriptions

What Is Digital Lens Technology?

The newest technology in eyeglass lenses are Digital High-Definition Lenses. The technology used to make these digital lenses leverages computer software which takes into account frame fitting position, prescription, vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt and eye movement patterns.   Digital lenses provide you with an exact prescription, rather than rounding to the nearest setting in traditional lenses. Imagine buying a shirt off the rack vs. a shirt tailored to your exact measurements.  This new technology provides the greatest peripheral vision and the highest definition of clarity. One of the reasons why the term "free-form lenses" is often used interchangeably with digital lenses is to imply that the lens is not confined to the same pre-molded parameters as standard traditional lenses are.

Why are digital lenses important?

Digital lenses eliminate many of the aberrations that were unavoidable with conventional lens surfacing. They are six times more accurate than traditional lens surfacing and enable patients to enjoy up to 20% wider vision channels for both intermediate and near distances. Digital lenses are available in designs specific to patients’ lifestyles: sport, hobby, computer and reading designs to name a few.

Who are good candidates for digital lenses?

Everyone can benefit from the accuracy of a digital lens prescription, although the most drastic difference can be seen by those with high prescriptions and large amounts of astigmatism. Progressive wearers will especially benefit from digital lenses as they provide a wider field of vision and eliminate the “follow-the-nose” technique.

Remember when you first saw an HD TV?

It took a while to get used to because you were so accustomed to watching in low definition—but now you can’t imagine going back! The mind does an even better job of compensating for everyday eyesight. You may need a few days to adjust to the accuracy of digital lenses after compensating for a near-accurate prescription for so long.

 

Why Eye Exams Are Important for Everyone

Most people experience an eye screening as their first introduction to eye care, whether during school or at the DMV.  An eye screening is basically a test to determine if you can see 20/20. While an eye screening is a great way to determine a need for a prescription, it is not in any way determining the health of your eyes. Even if you can pass an eye screening and see 20/20, you should still have an annual eye exam to check the health of your eyes.

At iCare Family Vision, we do more than just determine your glasses and contacts prescription during an eye exam. By providing early detection of health issues, your eye doctor is often the first line of defense against chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms, and you may be completely unaware of them.

Only a small percentage of your time during an eye exam is actually spent determining your prescription. The majority of the testing time in an eye exam is devoted to tests such as visual field, tonometry, retinal evaluation, slit lamp, etc.

These tests are just a few of the ways that your eye doctor can check your overall health and well being:

  • Eye diseases: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, etc.
  • Refractive error: farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia
  • Other diseases: high blood pressure, high cholesterol
  • Amblyopia, strabismus, and focusing problems

Treatment plans following your eye exam can include a prescription for glasses or contact lenses to correct refractive errors, vision therapy, medical treatment for eye disease and in some cases your eye doctor may also recommend that you take vitamins or supplements to maintain good eye health or to help alleviate specific problems like dry eyes.

In the end, regular eye exams are important for seeing more clearly, early detection of health issues, and preserving your vision for life.

Schedule your annual eye exam today at iCare Family Vision.

St Louis Park Optometrist to Open New Practice

Opening day on March 20

St. Louis Park, MN — March 20, 2017iCare Family Vision, a full scope optometric practice, will open this month on 5103 Minnetonka Blvd. and will be independently owned and operated by Dr. Elizabeth Johnson.

Dr. Johnson has been working as an optometrist in the area for six years in the employ of Calhoun Vision Center and The Spectacle Shoppe, and has a reputation in the community for her gentle style and excellent clinical skills. She obtained her Doctorate of Optometry from Indiana School of Optometry, is a member of the American Optometric Association, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the Minnesota Optometric Association.

Better Patient Experience

Dr. Johnson’s plans for iCare Family Vision include use of the latest technology, personalized care for each patient, and a unique assortment of eyewear in a comfortable, well-appointed optical gallery for discriminating buyers. She has partnered with several local eyewear vendors in addition to offering well-known brands of eyewear, and is committed to helping all of her patients see more clearly.

 “After serving the Twin Cities community for the better part of a decade, I realized the need for a clinic that focuses more on the patient experience” said Dr. Johnson.  “At iCare Family Vision, our mission is to change the way you think about eye care by providing exceptional eye care and only the highest quality eyewear.”

Dr. Johnson will begin seeing patients at iCare Family Vision on March 20, 2017.  iCare Family Vision is an in network provider for patients with VSP, and also most major medical plans.

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