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Posts tagged ‘eyeglasses’

The Unavoidable Facts About Bifocals, Part 1

On the list of unavoidable suffering, well behind death but only slightly ahead of  taxes, you’ll find bifocals.  For most of us, bifocals serve as a warning shot that middle age is hot on our heels. It’s a rite of passage that 95% of Americans over the age of 45 have experienced and in the next few years nearly 78 million baby boomers will join the Bifocal Club.

The eye condition is called presbyopia. The word is Greek for “old man’s eyes” but the roots of the condition actually start much earlier than the name implies. As teens, our eyes stop growing, but the lens in the eye continues to generate new cells. As a result, the lens gets progressively denser as time goes by. This increased density results in a stiffening of the lens. By the time we reach our mid forties the lens is so stiff that it can no longer make the transition from distance vision to near. Many of us will try to put off the inevitable by holding the newspaper further away or pushing the computer screen a little further back. Eventually, however, we find ourselves at the eye doctor’s office holding our first bifocal prescription.

Treating Presbyopia with Eyeglasses

Like our grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers and mothers, most of us will fight their emerging presbyopia with eyeglasses. Unlike our parents and grandparents however, many of us want nothing to do with unattractive bifocal lines. This cosmetic concern has made no-line bifocals, more accurately known as progressive addition lenses (PALs), the new clear-cut lenses of choice, but there’s more to PALs than just a pretty face.

“What consumers want,” notes Carol Norbeck, spokeswoman for the Vision Council of America, “is to see as if they never got old. That’s a tall order but progressive lenses are coming closer and closer to that goal”. Our parents’ traditional lined bifocals had two distinct prescription zones. You were either looking through the distance portion or through the reading segment, and when you passed from one zone to the other the image would suddenly change in size.  This is called image “pop”.  Functional? Yes, but it didn’t feel anything like normal vision. Today’s progressive lenses, by contrast, offer a gradual transition from distance to near prescription. The lens provides clear vision at  distance, near and points in-between with no image pop.

    In  PALs introduced in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the trade-off for the lineless design was a pair of  bothersome blur zones on either side of the transition corridor. Today, these older designs are called “hard progressives”. More recent lens designs, called “soft progressives” utilize advanced mathematical formulas and computer graphing to create a much more subtle visual transition from distance prescription to reading prescription. The blur zones have been greatly reduced and pushed to the periphery of the lens where they are safely out of the normal field of vision. The result is vision that feels very natural.

Shawnee Optical Consumer TipIn today’s optical marketplace hard PALs often sell along side the newer soft designs at surprisingly similar prices. Make sure you are being fit with a soft progressive lens. If your optician doesn’t know the difference find another optician.

To learn more about proper eye care, eye wear and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at www.shawneeoptical.com.

The Importance of Eye Care at Every Stage in Your Life

Vision problems are common and affect everyone from infants to senior citizens. Proper eye care and eye wear at every stage in life are very important in order to see clearly and prevent future eye health issues.

A problem with a child’s vision can be the underlying cause of learning difficulties in school. The process of learning is highly visual and is dependent on clear vision. Eye care for children begins at the start of life. A pediatrician should examine a new born infant’s eyes at birth. Eye examinations should also be performed when a child is 6 months old, 2 years old, then at least every two years after that unless more frequent examinations are required.

Teenagers are prone to ultraviolet rays from the sun and the harmful impact ultraviolet rays can have on eyes if protective eye wear such as sunglasses are not used. Research shows 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to ultraviolet rays occurs by the age of 18. Extra-curricular school activities such as sports often times necessitate protective or corrective eye wear.  Clear vision helps teens participating in these programs perform at their best. Protective eye wear worn during these types of activities prevents eye injuries. Regular eye examinations during the teen years are essential to future eye health.

Corrected vision and healthy eyes are vital to adults. We all live very busy lives and need to take care of all aspects of our health, including eye health, in order to cope with stress and enjoy life to the fullest. While you may not notice any issues with your vision or overall eye health, a regular eye exam is still necessary to detect problems that may be emerging. If your family has a history of eye disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, regular eye exams must be conducted to monitor and identify whether or not these conditions are affecting you.

As we continue to age and reach the advanced stages of life, the risk of eye disease and eye problems increases dramatically.  Annual eye examinations are critical to maintaining vision and staying active during your senior years.

Developing a trusted relationship with an eye care professional is just as important as your relationship with a primary care physician.  At Shawnee Optical, we have been nurturing long-term relationships with patients for over 30 years. We get know our patients, their families and their lifestyles. This helps us understand their eye health history, their susceptibility to specific eye problems, their eye wear needs and enables us to deliver the very best eye care and level of service.  A relationship like this saves our patients both time and money.

To learn more about eye care and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at www.shawneeoptical.com.

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