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6 Signs You May Need Glasses

Many people don’t realize they have a vision problem. Perhaps they’ve gone years without glasses and haven’t noticed the gradual change in their vision. Or they’ve noticed a change, but put off a visit to an eye doctor. Regardless of whether you’re experiencing problems, make an appointment with Dr. Blaine to maintain your eye health.

There are many clues that your eyesight needs correcting, such as struggling to read up close, or having trouble seeing street signs, or barely deciphering faces while watching a film. If you’re still not sure you need glasses, consider these 6 questions.

Are You Frequently Squinting and/or Experiencing Headaches?

Unless it’s unusually bright, there’s no reason to be squinting if your vision is clear. Although squinting may briefly enhance your eyes’ ability to focus, if done for too long it can tax your eyes and surrounding muscles, which can result in frequent headaches.

If you have to squint while working on your computer or using digital devices, you may be experiencing not only headaches but also digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. The cure is often a pair of computer glasses, or blue light glasses, which are designed to block out or filter blue light. This can reduce headaches and squinting when using your digital devices.

Are You Struggling to See Up Close?

If the texts on your phone or restaurant menu look blurry, you may be farsighted. While reading glasses are a great option for near tasks, you’ll need to take them off for other activities. Consider getting progressive lenses, which change gradually from point to point on the lens, providing the exact lens power needed for seeing objects clearly at any distance. Progressive lenses help you comfortably see near, far, and in-between all day long.

Do You Struggle to See Things at a Distance?

If you’re having difficulty seeing objects at a distance, you may be myopic (nearsighted). Myopia is the most common cause of impaired vision in children and young adults. Consider a pair of glasses with high-index lenses, which are thinner and lighter than other lenses, along with anti-reflective coating.

Do You Have Blurred Vision at Night?

Are objects or signs more blurry at night? Do you experience halos or glare around lights while driving at night? These may be symptoms of a vision issue, such as myopia — though they can also be attributed to more serious ocular conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma. To know the cause, get your eyes properly evaluated by Dr. Blaine.

If determined that it is indeed myopia, consider getting prescription glasses with anti-glare or anti-reflective (AR) coating, as they allow more light in and also cut down on glare. This can dramatically improve night vision and help you see more clearly when driving at night.

Are You Experiencing Double Vision?

If you’ve been experiencing double vision, contact Dr. Blaine, who will get to the root of the problem and provide you with a diagnosis. Double vision may be due to crossed eyes (strabismus), or a corneal irregularity, such as keratoconus, or another medical condition.

If you are diagnosed with any of these, you’ll likely need a pair of glasses with a prism correction that helps correct alignment issues. Special lenses prevent you from seeing double by combining two images into a single one.

However, note that if you experience sudden double vision, it may be a medical emergency that should be checked by an eye doctor immediately.

Are You Losing Your Place or Using Your Finger When Reading?

If you’re frequently losing your spot or skipping lines when reading, you may have a vision problem. This could be due to strabismus, lazy eye, or astigmatism.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is essential to have a highly qualified optometrist examine your eyes to assess your vision and check for any eye diseases — and to do so as soon as possible. This is the only way to determine whether you need glasses or if something else is causing the problem.

Even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms, it’s important to routinely get your eyes checked. Many eye diseases can be effectively treated before you notice major problems, so regular eye exams are important to maintain eye health. Contact Bridlewood Eye Care in Calgary to make an appointment with Dr. Blaine. The sooner you get your vision checked, the faster you’ll be able to see clearly and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Want Frames that Fit Right? Don’t Buy Eyeglasses Online!

Benefits of buying glasses from an optical store near you

We get it, online shopping has become a staple in our lives. Even if you’re still lounging in your pj’s, you can browse items on the screen, make a selection and choose to pay now. All that’s left to do is wait for your delivery to arrive. However, this process doesn’t work smoothly for all purchases! Eyeglasses in particular are one item that’s better to buy from an optical store near you.

Before you raise your eyebrows in skepticism over this fact, let’s review the risks involved in buying designer frames from a website – instead of from a helpful, qualified optician.

All glasses don’t fit all people

When you choose frames from an online vendor, you’re probably given the option of uploading an image of yourself for “trying on” the glasses. But this process has limitations – namely, you’ll be able to see how the glasses look on your face, but you won’t be able to feel how they fit. Do they rest snugly on your nose, or do they slip down? Are the temples comfortable behind your ears, or do they pinch?

The only way to assess the fit of your glasses is to put them on your face. At our eye care center, our friendly optician will check if the glasses rest properly on your face and provide clear vision. Remember, ill-fitting glasses can do more than hurt your head, they can also blur your eyesight!

Quality you can depend on

As your trusted neighborhood optical store, we invest time and energy into stocking only quality frames that you can rely upon. Our glasses are handpicked from the designer brands you know and love, featuring top construction, trending style, and long-lasting use. When you shop online, you’ll never find this attention to detail and quality. Also, we use premium optics and precise engineering to ensure that your lenses fit your frames perfectly, giving the sharpest vision possible. What good are glasses that don’t hold up to daily wear, or worse, don’t provide crisp sight?

Eye exams are an essential part of buying glasses

When choosing the shape of your frames, your vision prescription must be considered. If you need bifocals or multifocal lenses, a minimum size is typically needed to make sure the lenses line up correctly with your PD (pupil distance). If your PD is wrong, the optics won’t work. The only way to confirm that your eyeglasses provide clear vision is by having our optician perform a thorough vision test.

Your optician will explain your lens options

Even after you’ve chosen the designer frames of your dreams, do you know which lens options you need? Your daily activities, occupation, and hobbies are important factors. Depending on what you do each day, our optical staff will recommend various lens treatments and coatings. For example, computer users can benefit from blue light protection, photochromic lenses can be ideal for people who move between indoors and outdoors constantly, and impact-resistant plastics are a good match if you’re physically active. When you order lenses from an optical center near you, you eliminate the guesswork of figuring out which features to add.

We care about you! Online vendors care about making sales

When you enter a website to buy cheap knock-offs or costly designer frames, there’s no personalized hands-on assistance. In contrast, our friendly optician will help you from the moment you enter our optical store! If any problems arise, we stand by our products. We’re available to help or make adjustments to your frames, as needed.

At Bridlewood Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 403-873-2123 or book an appointment online to see one of our Calgary eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Should Know

Do Your Eyeglasses Fit Right?

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Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Should Know

As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, health professionals are demanding that people limit their personal risk of contracting the virus by thoroughly washing their hands, practicing social distancing, and not touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that the eyes play an important role in spreading COVID-19.

Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out. These droplets can easily enter your body through the mucous membranes on the face, such as your nose, mouth, and yes — your eyes.

But First, What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes mild to severe respiratory illness associated with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Those with acute cases of the virus can develop pneumonia and other life-threatening complications.

Here’s what you should know:

Guard Your Eyes Against COVID-19

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Although we all engage in this very normal habit, try to fight the urge to touch your eyes. If you absolutely must, first wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Tears carry the virus. Touching tears or a surface where tears have fallen can spread coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throughout the day as well.
  • Disinfect surfaces. You can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, such as a door knob, and then touching your eyes.

Coronavirus and Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, refers to an inflammation of the membrane covering the front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, watery, and itchy eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, too.

According to a recent study in China, viral conjunctivitis may be a symptom of COVID-19. The study found conjunctival congestion in 9 of the 1,099 patients (0.8%) who were confirmed to have coronavirus.

If you suspect you have pink eye, call your eye doctor in Calgary right away. Given the current coronavirus crisis, we ask patients to call prior to presenting themselves at the office of Dr. Blaine, as it will allow the staff to assess your condition and adequately prepare for your visit.

Contact Lenses or Eyeglasses?

Many people who wear contact lenses are thinking about switching to eyeglasses for the time being to lower the threat of being infected with coronavirus.

Wearing glasses may provide an extra layer of protection if someone coughs on you; hopefully that infected droplet will hit the lens and not your eye. However, one must still be cautious, as the virus can reach the eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms around your frames. Unlike specialized safety goggles, glasses are not considered a safe way to prevent coronavirus.

Contact Lenses and COVID-19

If you wear contacts, make sure to properly wash your hands prior to removing or inserting them. Consider ordering a 3 to 6 month supply of contact lenses and solution; some opticals provide home delivery of contact lenses and solutions. At this stage there is no recommendation to wear daily lenses over monthlies.

Don’t switch your contact lens brand or solution, unless approved by your optometrist or optician.

Regularly Disinfect Glasses

Some viruses such as coronavirus, can remain on hard surfaces from several hours to days. This can then be transmitted to the wearer’s fingers and face. People who wear reading glasses for presbyopia should be even more careful, because they usually need to handle their glasses more often throughout the day, and older individuals tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. Gently wash the lenses and frames with warm water and soap, and dry your eyeglasses using a microfiber cloth.

Stock up on Eye Medicine

It’s a good idea to stock up on important medications, including eye meds, in order to get by in case you need to be quarantined or if supplies run short. This may not be possible for everyone due to insurance limitations. If you cannot stock up, make sure to request a refill as soon as you’re due and never wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy.

It is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications.

Digital Devices and Eyestrain

At times like this, people tend to use digital devices more than usual. Take note of tiredness, sore eyes, blurry vision, double vision or headaches, which are symptoms of computer vision syndrome if they are exacerbated by extensive use of digital devices, and might indicate a need for a new prescription in the near future. This usually isn’t urgent, but if you’re unsure, you can call our eye doctor’s office.

Children and Digital Devices

During this time your children may end up watching TV and using computers, tablets and smartphones more frequently and for more extended periods too. Computer vision syndrome, mentioned above, can affect children as well. We recommend limiting screen time to a maximum of 2 hours per day for children, though it’s understandably difficult to control under the circumstances.

Try to get your child to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, and stop all screen time for at least 60 minutes before sleep.

Children and Outdoor Play

Please follow local guidelines and instructions regarding outdoor activities for your children. If possible, it’s actually good for visual development to spend 1-2 hours a day outside.

 

From all of us at Bridlewood Eye Care in Calgary, we wish you good health and please stay safe.

Do Your Eyeglasses Fit Right?

Get an eye exam to check the fit of your glasses

Tips and guidelines are all over the internet about how to choose the perfect eyeglasses for your face. Which advice should you listen to? Do any of these helpful hints have any real value?

Truthfully, there are many myths about what’s important when it comes to selecting frames that fit right. We’ve prepared the following helpful facts and instructions to guide your decision. Once you’ve narrowed down your eyeglasses choices to a few favorites, the best thing to do is ask our optical staff! We’re trained to check the precise fit of eyeglasses and to make adjustments, as necessary. If your vision isn’t up to par with your new glasses, we can also perform a detailed eye exam to ensure that an inaccurate prescription isn’t the problem.

The Basics Behind Well-Fitting Eyeglasses

Face shape isn’t most important: One of the most widespread myths is that you need to first identify your face shape to pick eyeglasses that complement your features. However, if you’ve ever looked at pictures of different shaped faces – round, square, triangular, heart-shaped, etc…, you probably got stuck. That’s because most people don’t neatly match up to one shape. It’s more probable that your face combines the elements of a few different shapes, and you don’t need to pinpoint them to find the best-looking glasses.

Glasses must feel comfortable: Many people simply settle, getting used to eyeglasses that pinch slightly behind their ears or press on the sides of their noses. Uncomfortable glasses are not something anyone should live with! When frames fit right, they feel good – they don’t slip, pinch, lead to headaches, or brush up against your eyelashes.

One size doesn’t fit all

Although many glasses can work for different size heads, the rule of thumb is that smaller, more delicate frames fit smaller heads best, and larger frames complement larger heads. Balance and proportion is key – large frame designs can overwhelm small heads, and tiny frames can make big heads look even larger.

Measurements that Matter

If our optical staff had to sum up the main criteria for fitting eyeglasses (not taking personal style into account), we’d break it down to matching you with the right frame width, arm length, and bridge width.

Frame width

The width of your eyeglasses is important for reasons beyond giving you an attractive appearance. It’s also linked to the placement of your pupils within each lens, which is inextricably connected to the quality of your vision. Frame width should extend slightly past your cheekbones, far enough so the arm of the frames doesn’t touch your temple – and close enough that you can’t fit more than one finger in that same area. This is particularly important for people who wear bifocals or progressives, so you see through the correct portion of each lens.

Arm (temple) length

The arms of your eyeglasses should go straight back towards your ears and only contact the side of your head just in front of your ears. If temples curve too early, they’ll push the glasses down your nose and apply too much pressure on the bridge, leading to headaches.

Bridge size

The bridge is the part of your eyeglasses that goes over your nose. It needs to fit snugly, not pinching or sliding around loosely. Often, metal frames have adjustable nose pads to help customize the fit – but acetate glasses usually don’t have this feature. If the bridge is too tight, you’ll feel uncomfortable and your vision will likely suffer because the lenses sit too high on your face. If the bridge is too loose, your eyeglasses will constantly slide down your nose.

What can you do when your fit isn’t right?

Ill-fitting eyeglasses can make your appearance look a bit off, as well as negatively affect your vision. Whatever the problem, your best bet is to visit our optical store for assistance. If poor vision is your complaint, we’ll first perform an eye exam to confirm that your prescription is accurate and that the lenses were crafted correctly. If the problem lies in the size and shape of your frames, there’s a variety of ways we can fix the situation. Arm temples, nose pads, and bridges can be adjusted and customized for your face. Instead of suffering uncomfortable vision, talk to your eye doctor!

At Bridlewood Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 403-873-2123 or book an appointment online to see one of our Calgary eye doctors.

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Reading glasses: How will I know if I’m ready?

When you pick up a book or your smartphone, do you need to stretch your arm and hold it further away from your eyes to see the words? When you go grocery shopping, do you need to take a step back from the shelves to read the ingredient lists? These are all signs of presbyopia – a common and normal age-related vision condition – which means it’s probably time to get reading glasses.

Blurry close vision is a clear sign to visit our friendly Calgary, Alberta, eye doctor, at Bridlewood Eye Care for an eye exam. We’ll check your sight for near and distance to prescribe the best eyeglasses to give you 20/20 vision.

Signs that you need reading glasses

  1. Over age 40 – while everyone’s eyes change at a different pace, most people develop presbyopia (a normal part of aging) in their forties. This common vision condition makes it hard for your eyes to focus on nearby objects.
  2. Computer work tires your eyes – do you experience fatigue and heavy eyelids when working at your computer or any type of detailed work? Untreated presbyopia can strain your eyes. In addition to blinking more and taking breaks to let your eyes rest, the right pair of bifocal/multifocal eyeglasses or reading glasses can boost your eye energy.
  3. Halos appear around lights – when your lens can’t focus light properly onto your retina, it can cause fuzzy vision, especially when looking at lightbulbs or headlights.
  4. You need brighter light to read – if you always feel that the room is too dim, it can also be a sign that you need reading glasses. Older people tend to need more light to achieve 20/20 vision.
  5. Headaches – straining your eyes can lead to headaches, especially the type of pain that you feel right behind your eyes. Painful vision is a sign that you need to visit our Calgary, Alberta, eye care center for an eye exam.

Still not sure you need reading glasses? Schedule a comprehensive eye exam!

Dr. Blaine will check your vision and eye health thoroughly to issue your precise vision prescription for eyeglasses or reading glasses. We’ll also inspect the health of your eyes to make sure your symptoms aren’t due to another problem; such as eye disease. Remember, eyes and vision change with age, so regular follow-up eye exams are essential!

At Bridlewood Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 403-873-2123 or book an appointment online to see one of our Calgary eye doctors.

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How to Keep Glasses from Getting Foggy

Whether you live in a cold climate or have visited one in the winter, you have probably seen someone who just walked in from the cold outdoors sporting glasses that are no longer transparent, or perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself.

Why Do Glasses Fog Up?

There are several factors that cause your glasses to fog up — one of which is ambient heat, in other words, the actual temperature in your surrounding environment. Eyelashes that touch the lens can cause fogging, as well as tight-fitting frames that touch the cheeks (many plastic frames cause this problem), which impede proper airflow. Lastly, high humidity and the sweat and moisture that accompany overexertion/ exercise can also trigger foggy lenses. 

Ultimately, glasses cloud over due to moisture in the air condensing on the cold surface of your lenses. 

Now that you know the most common reasons why your glasses fog up, it’s time to read about some possible solutions. Below are a few tips to help keep your lenses clear year-round.

6 Tips to Steer Clear of Cloudy Specs 

1. Invest in Anti-Fog Coating

Anti-fog coating blocks out moisture that would normally stick to your lenses, by creating a surface layer that repels water and mist. An optician applies the treatment to both sides of the lens in order to prevent fogging so you can see clearly in any climate or environment.

Ask us about our proven anti-fog treatment for your glasses and be on your way to clearer vision, all the time.

2. Use Anti-Fog Wipes, Sprays, or Creams

Commercial anti-fog products are an alternative to lens coatings. These products, typically sold in either gel or spray form, are specially designed to prevent condensation and moisture from building up on your lenses. Apply the product as directed on the packaging and remove it with the supplied cloth, wipe or towelette. If a cloth wasn’t included in the box, use a scratch-free cloth.

Aside from the gel or spray, you can use anti-fog wipes. These pre-treated napkins are perfect for those who are on the go. 

3. Move Your Glasses Further Away from Your Face

Eyeglasses tend to trap moisture and heat, particularly if they are positioned close to your eyes or face, which increases the buildup of fog on your lenses. Consider adjusting the position of your eyewear by pushing your glasses slightly further down your nose. It will stimulate proper air circulation, thereby reducing fog accumulation.

4. Wear Your Seasonal Accessories Wisely

If the weather cools down, try not to wear too many layers, to prevent overheating and producing sweat, which can make your glasses to fog up more. Wear only the necessary amount of clothing to stay warm. If you’re wearing a scarf, consider one with an open weave or a more breathable material to let the air pass through. 

5. Avoid Abrupt Temperature Changes

Allow your eyewear to acclimate to changes in temperature. If you are moving from an environment that is cold into one which is warm and humid, try to let your glasses adjust accordingly. 

For instance: 

  • As you enter a building, stand in the doorway for a minute or two as the temperature slowly transitions from cool to warm. 
  • When in the car, gradually adjust the heat, particularly when your hands aren’t free to simply remove your glasses and wipe off the fog.

Fogged up glasses are not only irritating but can also be dangerous, especially for those who drive, ski, or operate machinery. So make sure to take the necessary precautions, especially as the weather changes. 

6. Swap Glasses for Contact Lenses

If contacts are an option for you, you might want to wear them on those cold days, to avoid foggy glasses syndrome (yeah, that’s a made-up term).

 

Want to keep your glasses from fogging up? Speak with Dr. Blaine. At Bridlewood Eye Care in Calgary, we can advise you about a variety of contact lenses, anti-fog treatment and other solutions to help you see clearly— any day.