This blog post could alternatively be named “How to make your optometrist REALLY REALLY mad”. I had an emergency patient yesterday who had a bloody looking eye after having her makeup done for a family wedding. The makeup artist applied fake eyelashes onto my patients lashes and instead of pre-trimming them before application, she trimmed them with a scissor once the lashes were already glued on. It seems that somehow the scissors made some kind of contact with my patients eye ??!! which immediately caused some discomfort as well as popping some surface blood vessels. My patient had a sore ugly eye which aside from causing her some mild pain for the duration of the wedding will also require some heavy-duty Photoshopping skills by the photographer. I am not a fan of fake eyelashes as I have had many patients come to me for treatment after developing an allergy to the glue that bonds the fake lashes to the real lashes. Other common mishaps involving false lashes include the possibility of bacteria getting trapped between the fake and real lashes causing infection, as well as corneal damage from fake lashes or glue falling into the eye. And of course there is always the danger of a “whoopsie” on the part of the makeup artist and having a scissor end up waaaaay too close to your eyeball. My advice for long lashes? Apply a mascara primer first and two coats of mascara – your eyes and your eye doctor will thank you.
I was wandering down the the aisles in Target the other day buying all those wonderful things I never knew I needed. After wasting a few minutes agonizing over the merits of Rolos vs. Milky Way mini bars I escaped the endless rows of food paradise to find myself getting in the way of about ten red-shirted workers feverishly putting up a new display. After doing a tiny self congratulatory dance in my head that my days of back to school shopping were over I felt a burst of moral outrage that summer was being prematurely hijacked by an overeager business model. Seriously folks, couldn’t you have waited until August? As I made my way towards the checkout counter I began to reconsider my hasty condemnation of the sweet and innocent school supplies. Allow me to share with you a classic scenario that occurs in every eye doctor’s office the second to last week of August. Front desk staff picks up phone. “Um, hi, this is Mrs. OopsIforgot, my son is going back to college in three days and needs an appointment and a years worth of contact lens, and oh, he lost his glasses when he went kayaking down the Delaware, can you squeeze him into the schedule and get him everything he needs?” Experienced front desk staff calmly tells Mrs. OopsIforgot that Dr. Superduperbusy has been fully booked for August since June and she would put Master OopsIforgot on the waiting list. I will spare you the back and forth phone shenanigans that ensued between irate mom and calm staff member, but you get the picture. Summer is a great time for those back to school eye exams for your kids – so when those shiny, glittery school supplies start popping up on your radar make that call to our office to ensure that your kids are all set up for their annual checkups. Oh, and Target? I am sorry I ever doubted you….
Eating just one orange a day can slash your risk of developing macular degeneration by 60%. A recent study in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition followed 2,000 patients over the age of 50 for 15 years and found that the patients who ate an orange a day had a significantly decreased risk of AMD (age related macular degeneration) compared to those patients who ate no oranges at all. Usually research involving oranges concentrates on the effects of the vitamin C, E, and A the oranges contain, but this study put an emphasis on theflavonoids found in oranges. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that have immune and anti-inflammatory effects and are found in most fruits and vegetables. The study examined other foods that have flavonoids such as tea, apples and red wine (yes please) but for some reason oranges were the only food that aided in the prevention of AMD. The authors of the study acknowledge that more research has to be done before doctors can definitely prescribe an orange a day to keep AMD away.
Who doesn’t love sunglasses? After all, how many fashion accessories can also claim to be important medical devices? Whether you prefer glamorous or sporty, classic or trendy, sunglasses are a fashion statement that never goes out of style. In honor of National Sunglasses Day which takes place on June 27, here are a few facts about sunglasses that might be new to you.
Size matters. This season has seen a trend in “micro” sunglasses both on celebs and on the catwalk. Don’t be lured into this fad – not only do the eyes themselves need UV protection, so does the whole lid area and all the skin around the eyes in order to prevent melanoma. Also, do you really want to revisit nineties fashion?
Kids need sunglasses too. Because children have naturally larger pupils (pupil = that dark hole in the center of the eye that lets light in) more harmful UV rays reach their retinas and can cause future damage. Also interesting is the fact that kids are short and tend to look up more to see the world which causes them to look into the sun more often than adults. Parents are reluctant to spend money on kids sunglasses because kids lose stuff. A lot. One easy way around this is to make sure that kids who wear prescription glasses get photochromic lenses – the ones that magically morph into sunglasses when exposed to sunlight – no keeping track of a second pair. Kids that don’t wear prescription glasses will be excited to wear a cool grown up accessory and wearing them on a strap is a sporty way to make sure they don’t get lost.
Just because sunglasses are dark does not mean they have UV protection! In fact many of those cheap sunglasses you buy off street vendors are tinted but have no UV and are even more dangerous than not wearing anything at all. If the glasses are dark your pupil will open up even wider to let more light in, but since there is no UV in the lens, it allows more dangerous light into the eye. Sunglasses don’t need to be expensive but they do need to have UVA and UVB protection which should be indicated by a sticker on the sunglasses.
No matter what your motivation is, be it hiding from the paparazzi or just sporting a posh headband, quality sunglasses are a fun investment in your eye health.
For more information on National Sunglass Day visit
Did that get your attention? Fantastic, keep reading! A few years ago the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) came out with a cute but slightly stomach churning info-graphic that compared wearing dirty underwear to misusing contact lenses. Daily contact lenses are meant to be worn once and then tossed – that’s why they are called “daily”. Reusing dailies is unhygienic and gross and can lead to potential eye infection and inflammation. The same way you would (hopefully) not reuse the underwear you wore yesterday, don’t reuse your dailies! Other modalities of contact lenses such as monthlies are meant to be reused, but continuing with our undergarment metaphor, like underwear they need to be thoroughly sanitized with appropriate cleansers before wearing again. Other bad contact lens habits the info-graphic highlights are not cleaning contacts with tap water or spit (NASTY!) and not buying non FDA approved contact lenses found in sketchy costume shops or the dollar store. The info-graphic ends off with the advice “Cover your butt, take care of your eyes”. Not the classiest analogy, but I’ll bet it’s a visual that might haunt you the next time you consider abusing your contact lenses!