National Sunglasses Day

ball shaped beach blur close upWho 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.

artistic cloth design flagJust 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


black and white diamond shape wallpaper
Photo by David Buchi on

Yesterday my family and I went to go see “The Incredibles 2” as part of our Father’s Day celebration. Although this is not a movie review, the movie was indeed super cute and fun and I highly recommend it.  This morning while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed I saw that one of my friends had posted a message from the Epilepsy Foundation about a scene in the movie that could potentially trigger a seizure. When I went to research this some more, I saw that in response to this, Disney had sent out an advisory to theaters to put up signs informing movie goers that people susceptible to seizures due to flashing lights should be careful when seeing this movie. Fact – 3% of patients with epilepsy have a variant called photosensitive epilepsy in which exposure to certain visual patterns and/or flashing lights will trigger a seizure. People with migraines and chronic illness were also include in the warning that Disney sent out. There was one scene in the movie (which I don’t want to describe too much or I will ruin the plot) where the lights and patterns were so bright and so vivid, that instinctively I closed my eyes half way, turned to the side, and watched the scene out of the corners of my eyes. I don’t know if that was the doctor in me, the mom in me, or just plain old self preservation, but my body knew that this was not comfortable for me in some way. I did see the warning sign out in the lobby before we entered the theater but it really only registered in hindsight. If you know anyone with seizures, please share this information with them. Also, if you do go to see this movie, make sure you bring a box of tissues to use when you watch the wonderful Pixar short that precedes the movie.


Smile Dads!

As a general rule I hate clichés. In honor of this Father’s Day blog however, I am going to bend my rule and trot out the well-worn adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”. In this digital era of instant gratification no one wants to sit down and read a thousand word essay if they can look at photo and get the same basic information, and as the aforementioned saying goes, sometimes a picture really packs a more powerful punch. CCM_DadIn early July 2015, my father passed away. Two weeks before that, my brother surprised my father on Father’s Day by bringing him the type of breakfast he loved best – tons of coffee with assorted chocolate pastries. He then snapped a picture of my dad with a happy/shocked look on his face and sent it to the family WhatsApp group. It wasn’t a great picture by any stretch of the imagination, but as it turns out, it was the last picture we have of him. When I look at this picture I feel happy, sad, nostalgic, and a whole range of other sentiments that I can’t quite put into words.  This Father’s Day take a picture of your dad, and if you don’t have a dad anymore, dig out an old photo of him and let the memories flow.

Contact Lenses Are Like Underwear

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!


Achoo! Part 2

pexels-photo-193038.jpegFor many allergy sufferers mere avoidance of the offending allergens is not enough to prevent symptoms. The first line of treatment is to use high quality over the counter artificial tears which help to lubricate irritated eyes as well as to wash out and dilute the pollen that reaches the eye. Cool compresses are another natural way to relieve symptoms. Although there are a myriad of over the counter topical allergy drops on the market, it is hard to figure out which ones might be right for you, don’t hesitate to make an appointment so we can figure it out. Prescription antihistamine and mast cell inhibitor drops are very effective, and if these are still not enough we can prescribe a pulsed dose of topical steroids to get things under control. In some instances a consult with an allergist may be necessary if there are other systemic symptoms such as asthma, coughing and rashes that are not being addressed. Oral medications or immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be helpful as a more long term solution.

Many other eye conditions can mimic allergy, so it is important not to self-diagnose. Dry eyes can also cause itching, and using an antihistamine, either orally or topically, can make dry eye worse by drying out the ocular surface. Very often contact lens wearers will have to temporarily discontinue contact lens use during allergy season or switch to daily disposables. Putting a fresh contact lens in the eye every day goes a long way in preventing further exposure to pollen and irritants.

Spring and summer should be a fun and enjoyable time of year – don’t let allergies get in the way. Make an appointment with any of our skilled doctors who will tailor an allergy attack plan specifically for your lifestyle.