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Health and Nutrition

Using a Home Vision Test to Order Glasses Online…..Is It A Good Idea?

By | Eye Care, Eye Facts, Eye Safety, Health and Nutrition, Latest Heritage News

Using a Home Vision Test to Order Glasses Online

Edited By Vered Hazanchuk

Ordering glasses and contacts online is a tempting option. But how reliable are home vision tests, and should you use them to order new lenses?

“The public should understand that that these online tests can measure the power of your eyeglass prescription, but they can’t detect eye diseases that often have hidden symptoms,” said Michael X. Repka, MD, medical director of government affairs for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

“While online tests for glasses prescription may be okay for adults 18-39 years of age with healthy eyes, they are not appropriate for those with an eye condition or risk factors for eye disease – such as having diabetes or a family history of glaucoma – or for those who have not had a recent eye examination.”

  • How do home vision tests work?

Do-it-yourself vision exams are easy to find online. Verana Health offers a free app that allows patients to measure their vision using their smartphone and monitor changes in their sight over time. EyeQue’s Personal Vision Tester pairs your smartphone with a handheld miniscope to generate a personalized eyeglass prescription. And various other websites offer vision tests using a mobile device.

Some of these services ask you to stand about 10 feet away from your device in a well-lit area and speak the letters aloud as you look at an eye chart. Others, like EyeQue’s test, use a handheld device to check vision. The results are then reviewed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, who issues a prescription that you can use to buy glasses online.

 

  • Never use a home vision tests to order contacts

Experts strongly caution against using home eye exams to order contact lenses. Contacts should be fitted by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, who are trained to check for a good fit. Improperly fitting contact lenses can cause a range of complications, from redness and irritation to potentially blinding conditions such as a corneal infection.

 

  • How reliable are home vision tests?

While mobile apps and other technologies are constantly improving, a home vision test won’t be as accurate or reliable as a test done by your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

 

A home vision test also won’t detect serious eye problems or underlying health conditions. Adults ages 18-39 years still need to have comprehensive eye exams every five to 10 years, even if they have no eye symptoms or risk factors for eye disease. These exams can detect common eye diseases as well as hidden conditions that may lead to blindness if not properly treated.

 

  • Should I measure my vision at home?

Whether you should rely on a home vision test depends on your age, medical history and other factors.

 

Online vision testing should be limited to healthy adults (ages 18-39 years) who have a mild or moderate eyeglass prescription and no symptoms of eye disease.

 

It’s important to keep the following points in mind:

 

  • Home vision exams are best used to update an existing prescription in adults who previously had a comprehensive eye exam.

 

  • All corrective eyewear prescriptions must always be approved by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

 

  • If you have a high-power or irregular prescription, skip the home vision tests and schedule an exam with your ophthalmologist or optometrist.

 

  • If you’re at risk for eye disease or have eye symptoms, see an ophthalmologist. Always schedule follow-up visits at the frequency your ophthalmologist recommends.

 

Even if you’re perfectly healthy, the best way to protect your vision is by having in-person comprehensive eye exams every year.

 

4 Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy This Fall

By | Blog, Community Outreach, Eye Care, Eye Facts, Eye Safety, Health and Nutrition, Latest Heritage News

4 Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy This Fall

Wrtten By: Kierstan Boyd

For many people, autumn is a time for enjoying the outdoors. Camping under crisp, starry skies; picking apples; sitting around a bonfire—these activities and more are some of the hallmarks of the fall season.

Here are 4 ways to make sure your eyes stay healthy this fall, and throughout the rest of the year.

Protect those peepers when raking leaves.

 

Raking or blowing leaves can send pieces of plant material into your eyes. That could lead to an eye infection called fungal keratitis. As with any yard work, be sure to wear protective glasses or goggles to keep your eyes safe. Also, if you wear contact lenses, disinfect them right afterwards.

Avoid the horrors of non-prescription costume contact lenses this Halloween.

Decorative contact lenses can really enhance a Halloween costume. However, wearing costume lenses not prescribed by an eye doctor who has examined your eyes can lead to frightful consequences. Besides being illegal, non-prescription contact lenses may be ill-fitting and non-sterile, causing painful, sometimes blinding eye infections. Be sure to have an eye exam and get properly fitted for the colored contacts you want.

Keep your eyes moist during autumn’s cooler, dryer weather.

With fall breezes may come burning, stinging and watery eyes. Dry, cold air is the culprit, often causing dry eyes. Keep your eyes moist with artificial tears. And try to avoid overly-warm rooms, wind or hair dryers—things that dry out your eyes even more.

Reap the harvest of fall’s eye-friendly foods.


Autumn’s bounty is a feast for healthy eyes. Full of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other nutrients, enjoy the season’s fruits and vegetables, such as:

  • apples
  • pears
  • pomegranates
  • squash
  • turnips
  • cauliflower

 

 

Coronavirus Can Land On your Glasses: How To Disinfect Your Specs.

By | Blog, Community Outreach, coronavirus, COVID, COVID-19, Eye Care, Eye Facts, Eye Safety, Health and Nutrition, Latest Heritage News

Glasses can act as a barrier between you and a person who is coughing or sneezing, but that also means the virus can lurk on the surface.

May 20, 2020, 5:10 AM PDT / Source: TODAY

By A. Pawlowski

Amid all the warnings about contaminated surfaces possibly spreading the new coronavirus, many people may not be aware of a “surface” they’re touching all day: their glasses.

When going out in public, prescription specs or sunglasses can serve as a kind of barrier between the wearer and strangers who are coughing or sneezing, with the respiratory droplets landing on the lenses.

The virus can persist on glass for up to four days, one study found. It can also be detected for up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel — materials that may be used in lenses and frames.

People often take glasses on and off all day, potentially transferring more of the virus onto their specs with their hands. Some rub their eyes after handling glasses or put the tips of the frame into their mouths, potentially exposing them to the pathogen.

NBC contributor believes he got coronavirus through his eyes — how does that happen?

Dr. Barbara Horn, president of the American Optometric Association, said she’s become much more conscious of the cleanliness of her eyewear during the pandemic.

“It’s very important,” Horn, an optometrist who lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, told TODAY.

“I’m certainly not saying glasses are the main culprit by any means, but you just always want to be careful — making sure you’re cognizant of the fact that glasses can transfer (the virus) and be aware of how to clean them properly.”

Here are Horn’s tips for disinfecting glasses:

Clean your glasses after being out in the public:

Horn doesn’t need prescription glasses, but wears sunglasses constantly and makes sure to clean them after a trip to the grocery store or other places where she’s around other people.

“Every time I walk in my home, the first thing I do is… wash my hands and then wash my glasses,” Horn said.

Soap and water are the best option

The new coronavirus is very sensitive to all soaps, said Dr. Joseph Vinetz, an infectious disease doctor at Yale Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Always rinse the lenses first with water to avoid grinding any particles that may be on the surface into the glasses and scratching them, Horn advised.

Put a drop or two of soap, like dish soap, onto the lens and rub it around lightly with a microfiber cloth.

Disposable lens cleaning wipes can work, too.

Make sure to clean the nose pads, which touch the face constantly and can get dirty, and the edge where the lens meets the frame: “Lots of dust and debris can get trapped in that little space,” Horn said.

Don’t forget to clean the frame, including the earpiece that goes behind the ear.

Rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Avoid using paper towels, which have fibers that can easily scratch lenses. If using a non-disposable cloth to clean glasses, wash that cloth as well after cleaning the specs.

It’s the same procedure for sunglasses.

Don’t worry about the little screws in the frame rusting if you wash your glasses. It shouldn’t happen if you let the frame air dry, plus screws can be easily replaced, so that shouldn’t be a concern, Horn said.

Don’t blow on glasses to clean them

Many people use their breath to steam up the lenses to try to clean them. “Especially right now, you don’t want to breathe on your glasses,” Horn said, to avoid putting any germs on them.

Don’t use rubbing alcohol or bleach

These cleaning agents can be harsh on anti-reflective or non-glare coatings on lenses, Horn cautioned. They could also make the frame more brittle. Stick to soap and water.

Household disinfecting wipes should be OK to use occasionally on frames, but again, skip the lenses, she advised.

Don’t put the frames in your mouth

It’s a common habit, but it’s not a good idea since frames may be germy and potentially lead to an infection, “especially during these times,” Horn said.

The same goes for rubbing your eyes, especially since coronavirus can enter the body through them, binding to receptors on the surface of the eyes and spreading throughout the body, NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres told TODAY.

Another reason: People can actually go blind from rubbing their eyes because they can break down the front layer of the cornea, Horn warned.

Bottom line:

Touching glasses can potentially spread germs so cleaning them throughout the day — especially during a pandemic — would be ideal, Horn said.

6 Simple Ways to Take Better Care of Your Eyes

By | Blog, Community Outreach, Eye Care, Eye Facts, Eye Safety, Health and Nutrition, Latest Heritage News
Your eye doc wanted us to pass these along.
Woman rubbing eyes outside

If any of your body parts were to write a mournful ballad about feeling underappreciated, it might be your eyes. Be real: Is eye care really at the top of your priority list? Probably not, but it likely needs to be a little higher than it is right now. Think about how much your eyes do for you all day long, from the moment you snap them open to, you know, begin your day, to when you close them at night so you can finally get some rest. Taking care of them is essential.

Looking after your eyes (lol) when there’s nothing wrong with them might feel pointless. But you’ll appreciate it in the long run, Beeran Meghpara, M.D., an eye surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital, tells SELF. “I see people daily in my office with eye problems that are preventable,” he says.

Since you probably don’t want to join their ranks, we polled eye doctors for their tips on simple, easy things you can do to take better care of your eyes. Try these to preserve your vision and lower the odds you’ll have to deal with eye issues in the future.
1. Take your contacts out before you shower, swim, or otherwise get water on your face.

You probably already know other contact lens must-dos, like never sleeping in them. But a lot of contact lens wearers don’t realize they shouldn’t let their lenses get wet.

Your contact lenses basically act as a sponge, Dr. Meghpara says. Wearing contacts in the shower and while swimming can expose them to things like bacteria and parasites. “[They] get absorbed into your lenses, which are a conduit into your eyes,” Dr. Meghpara says.

Some of those pathogens may cause eye irritation or an eye infection, he says, but others can be more serious. One of those is acanthamoeba, a parasite that can live in lakes and oceans and cause a rare infection called acanthamoeba keratitis. This is an infection of the cornea that can cause eye pain and redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, excessively watery eyes, and a feeling that something is in your eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the worst cases, acanthamoeba keratitis can cause blindness. “It can be devastating,” Dr. Meghpara says

Again, acanthamoeba keratitis is rare. But why increase your risk of even garden-variety eye irritation by wearing your contacts in water?

2. Wear safety glasses when you do any home improvement projects—even with simple stuff.

It makes sense that someone like Chip Gaines would wear safety glasses, since he regularly wields a nail gun. Nails and eyes aren’t quite peanut butter and jelly. Even if you don’t have a home renovation show, you should don protective eyewear when you DIY improvement projects, including ones as simple as hanging a picture frame, Dr. Meghpara says: “We’ve seen people try to hang up a picture, and a piece of the nail or frame broke off and ended up in their eye.” Dr. Meghpara says.

Eye protection is especially important if you work with tools for your job. Every day, about 2,000 workers in the United States have job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment, according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Wearing safety goggles can prevent about 90 percent of these injuries, according to the American Optometric Association, making this a super important step.

3. See an eye doctor at least every two years, or more frequently if necessary.

You probably do this just about as often as you visit the dentist, which might be…uh…next to never. But instead of rolling your eyes at this advice, do your due diligence and walk them on over to the eye doctor every two years. That’s how often the American Optometric Association recommends that adults aged 18 to 60 get an eye exam.

“It is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam at least every other year,” Tatevik Movsisyan, O.D., M.S., assistant clinical professor of advanced ocular care and primary care clinics at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, tells SELF.

This applies even if you think you have great vision. Regular eye exams can detect eye diseases and conditions that may have no early symptoms, like glaucoma, James Khodabakhsh, M.D., chief of the department of ophthalmology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and CEO/medical director of the Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology, tells SELF. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can cause blindness, but catching it early can hinder its progress. Bottom line: See your eye doctor every other year, or more frequently than that if you have risk factors like a family history of eye diseases.

4. Pamper your eyelids with a warm compress every day.

Your eyelids have Meibomian glands that pump oil onto the surface of your eyes and create a healthy tear film, Dr. Meghpara says. But as you get older, these glands don’t pump out oil as much as they used to.

If your eyelids aren’t pumping out enough oil, you can develop dry eye or blepharitis (a condition that causes an inflammation of the eyelid), Dr. Meghpara says. Applying warmth to those glands can soften up any oil that’s clogged in there, making them more likely to work the way they should.

To use a warm compress, simply wet a washcloth with warm water, close your eyes, and press the compress up against your eyelids for a few moments, Muriel Schornack, O.D., an optometrist at the Mayo Clinic, tells SELF. “I tell all my patients: If you do this now every day, it can hopefully prevent a problem with dry eye later on,” Dr. Meghpara says.

5. Eat a balanced diet.

The American Optometric Association specifically recommends that you try to get certain nutrients in your diet on a regular basis for the sake of your eyes.

These include lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in foods like spinach, kale, and eggs, and may reduce your risk of chronic eye diseases. Vitamin C, which is in tons of fruits and vegetables (including ones other than oranges), might slow the progression of age-related vision loss. Then there’s vitamin E, which you can get from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and green veggies like spinach and broccoli, and which can potentially help protect cells in your eyes from tissue breakdown. Omega-3 fatty acids from sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and fish are important for proper functioning of your retina, which sends visual messages to your brain. There’s also zinc (found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, crab, lobster, and more), which helps your body produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes.

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet also reduces your risk of developing or exacerbating hypertension and type 2 diabetes, all of which can lead to eye complications, Dr. Movsisyan says.

6. Wear your sunglasses—yes, even when it’s cloudy or freezing.

While the sun might not seem as powerful when hiding behind clouds or during winter, it’s still there—and it can still harm your eyes. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, which may cause eye issues like pinguecula and pterygia (growths on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that covers the white part of the eye), or keratitis (inflammation or damage to the cornea itself), Dr. Schornack says.

While some eye protection is better than none, the Mayo Clinic specifically recommends looking for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays, screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light, have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortions and imperfections, and have lenses that are gray so you can see colors clearly. Wrap-around or close-fitting sunglasses are also ideal to protect your eyes from every angle, the organization says.

If you have any questions at all about your eye health, call your eye doctor or get one if you don’t have one already. A lot of times, eye conditions can be controlled or reversed if they’re caught early, Dr. Meghpara says. Translation: Future you might thank present you for sticking with an eye-care regimen.