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Why Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive To Light?

Did you know that blue eyes don’t contain any blue pigment? They appear blue due to how the light reacts with the structures of the iris.

In fact, the top layer of a blue iris doesn’t contain any pigment at all. This lack of pigment is the reason that blue-eyed people may be more sensitive to bright light and have a greater need to wear sunglasses than their brown-eyed counterparts.

Why Do Your Eyes Need Sun Protection?

Eyes of all colors need shielding from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV light can contribute to the formation of short-term and long-term eye conditions such as corneal sunburn and macular degeneration.

That’s why it’s so important to choose high-quality sunwear with 100% UV blocking lenses, and to throw on a sun hat for an added layer of protection.

UV protection is important for individuals of all ages—especially children—who are more susceptible than adults to the sun’s harmful rays, and tend to spend more time outdoors. It is estimated that up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 18.

Why are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?

Lighter colored eyes like blue, hazel and green have less of a pigment called ‘melanin’ than brown eyes do.

Melanin helps protect the retina from UV damage and blue light, putting those with blue eyes at a higher risk of developing UV-related eye damage.

If you have blue eyes, you may have experienced this first-hand. Bright light may be uncomfortable or you may want to reach for your shades as soon as you leave the house on a sunny day.

That’s why optometrists urge blue-eyed patients to be particularly vigilant about UV protection, so as to mitigate their chances of developing eye disease and other complications.

How We Can Help

Whether you have blue eyes or not, sunglasses are an important part of keeping your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we’ll be happy to advise on the perfect high-quality and protective pair of sunglasses to suit your needs and personal style.

To learn more about the eye care services we offer or to schedule an eye exam, contact Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland today!

Q&A:

Frequently Asked Questions with Sara Schmitz, O.D.

Q: 1: Should I wear sunglasses even when it’s not sunny outside?

  • A: Yes! You should wear your sunglasses whenever outdoors during the day, even on an overcast, winter day. UV light can pass through clouds and reflect off surfaces like car windows and pavement.

Q: 2: What type of sunglasses are the most suitable for blue eyes?

  • A: The most protective sunglasses are wraparound sunglasses that protect the eyes from every angle. You can also opt for photochromic lenses, which offer total UV protection but only become tinted when exposed to outdoor sunlight, and turn clear when you come indoors again. Your optometrist can help you choose the best lens and frame options for your needs and lifestyle.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In St. Louis, Missouri. Visit Overland Optical Family Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

5 Reasons to Buy Blue Light Glasses In-Store

Designer Computer Eyeglasses | Overland Optical Family Eye Care

Designer Computer Eyeglasses | Overland Optical Family Eye Care

Wearing blue light glasses has become more and more of a trend, and there’s a very good reason for it! Blue light contributes to eye strain and can disrupt sleep patterns. Although more research is needed, some studies have even suggested a link between blue light exposure and diabetes and heart disease

As a result, people are turning to an online retailer to order these glasses. While it’s logical that people would opt for the convenience of purchasing blue glasses online, it’s important to be wary of the hassle and inaccuracy that can result when you don’t order through an optician.

Check out these 5 reasons you should we wary of buying blue light glasses online:

1. Not getting what you asked for

According to a study recently conducted by The American Optometric Association (AOA) that had researched the 10 most popular online retailers, 29% of eyeglasses ordered online had at least one lens that didn’t meet the required prescription. Wearing the wrong prescription can cause eye strain and headaches. The advantage of buying these glasses at an optical practice is that you can be sure you’ll get the right fit and correct prescription for your needs, ensuring optimal comfort and clear vision.

2. You can’t verify the quality

The problem with ordering online is that you can’t assess the quality and check for a loose hinge. Overland Optical Family Eye Care only stocks quality frames and our optometric staff is trained to ensure you wear the proper fit and enjoy quality eyewear.

3. Cheaper frames can cause skin irritation — or worse

Along the same line, low-quality frames can end up costing you more in the long run. When browsing online, certain frames may look more expensive but could be made of low-grade materials that can cause skin irritation over time. Not only can they irritate your skin, but they can also get bleached by UV rays and the finish can worsen after a few months of wear.

4. Online virtual try-on’s can’t ensure satisfaction

If you’re buying glasses online, you’ll often have access to some sort of virtual try-on feature. This requires you to upload a forward-facing, close-up photo of yourself and you can then superimpose images of different frames on your face to see how they look.

While a virtual try-on can give you a rough idea of how you’ll look wearing different frames, it can’t tell you how the frames will feel.

5. Know what’s being cut to offer lower prices

Online retailers cut costs by using cheap materials and cut corners on customer service and safety standards. Over 20% do not meet ANSI safety standards and you don’t get the personalized attention and fitting expertise of a qualified optician. That’s a huge part of the value equation!

Eliminate the guesswork that comes with ordering online and get your blue light glasses at Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland. We’ll ensure that you get the perfect fit, quality and comfort thanks to our highly trained optometric team.

COVID-19: Protect Your Eyes From Too Much Screen Time

You and your children are likely spending more time on mobile devices and computer screens than ever before. Too much time spent staring at screens can cause computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, in certain people. While not serious, this condition can be very uncomfortable, potentially causing:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness

Below are some useful tips to help you and your children avoid computer vision syndrome:

Blink more!

Staring at a screen strains the eyes more than reading printed material because people tend to blink 30-50% less. This can also cause your eyes to dry out. Be mindful of blinking and make it a habit when focusing on a screen, as it will keep your eyes healthy and lubricated.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object located 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Doing so will allow your eyes to relax and will give both you and your eyes some rest.

Keep your distance

Your eyes work harder to see close up than at a distance. Try keeping your monitor or screen at arm’s length, or about 25 inches away.

Lighting matters

Make sure that your surrounding light is similar in strength to the light emanating from your screen. Contrasting levels of light, such as looking at a bright screen in a dark room, can strain the eyes.

Take breaks from the screen

You may want to stipulate ‘screen free’ time for yourself and/or your children, such as during meal times or for several hours throughout the day. Engage in hobbies that don’t require a screen, such as drawing, reading books, doing puzzles, playing an instrument or cooking (among many others).

Don’t use devices before bed

Studies show that blue light may affect your body’s circadian rhythm, also known as the natural wake and sleep cycle. Stop using screens one to two hours before bedtime or use nighttime settings to minimize blue light exposure.

Although it may require a bit of planning to protect your family’s eyes during this stressful time, ultimately, it’s all about balance — and what works for you and your family may differ from others.

From all of us at Overland Optical Family Eye Care at Overland, we wish you good health and please stay safe.

VR Goggles Safety Guide for Your Vision

Learn how to use the Oculus and protect your eyes from CVS and blue light

Virtual reality goggles are rapidly becoming the hottest must-have gaming device. They immerse you fully into a different world, a fantastic realm. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be transported to a new and fascinating place?

All you need to do is put a pair of VR goggles over your eyes and you can dash around, battle the enemy, race, and fly away.

However, we also need to face reality and consider the safety of these clever VR goggles, such as the Oculus. Our Overland and St. Charles eye doctors addresses your questions about the effects of this technology on vision and long-term eye health.

Do VR goggles lead to computer vision syndrome (CVS)?

Most types of VR headsets contain LCD monitors that project images at each eye, and the resulting stereoscopic effect creates an illusion of 3D. In order to accomplish this, the monitors must be placed very close to the eyes. As a result, eye strain and the irritating symptoms of CVS are a real-world concern.

Also, especially with young kids who tend to wear headsets like the Oculus for hours on end, prolonged exposure to this unnatural visual position can interfere with the healthy development of focusing, depth perception, and tracking.

Another common symptom of CVS that may occur is “cybersickness”, a type of motion sickness characterized by dizziness and nausea that can continue to disturb you even after you remove the VR goggles. It results from the mismatch of visual information and body posture.

In an interesting twist, while the bothersome and unhealthy symptoms of CVS are definitely a concern, VR goggles can also be used to enhance vision development. When used under the guidance of a qualified optometrist, some VR goggles can improve visual acuity, strengthen eye muscle weakness, and boost eye-hand coordination, reaction time, eye coordination, and depth perception.

What about blue light and CVS?

The jury is still out about the long-term effects of HEV (high energy visible light), also known as blue light, but research indicates that it may raise your risk of developing eye disease in the future. In addition, blue light flickers – which can stress your eyes and lead to headaches and other problems associated with CVS.

Fortunately, these fears about the hazards of blue light don’t have to get in the way of your high-tech leisure. Newer VR goggles are available with protective blue light filters built-in to the lens. Ask our team Overland Optical Family Eye Care about the latest, eye health friendly VR headsets.

How can you enjoy VR and avoid CVS?

Taking a few precautions can enable you to embrace the innovative tech of virtual reality and keep your vision safe. Our Overland, Missouri, eye doctor shares these tips:

  • Limit your (and your kid’s) time wearing the Oculus and exploring VR. Play for a half-hour at a time, and take a break every 5 minutes to walk around and reestablish your equilibrium.
  • Choose a slow speed for your main character and avoid making any quick or sudden movements within your VR world
  • Adjust the lenses of your VR goggles to meet the particular needs of your eyes.
  • Set your VR goggles for low brightness and a comfortable contrast
  • Don’t use headsets like the Oculus when you’re feeling sleepy or under the influence of alcohol, medication, or other drugs

Real-life eye exams are essential

Along with listening to the warnings and advice above, we encourage you to book regular comprehensive eye exams in our eye care center near you. Our advanced technology and optometric equipment may not be as exciting as spending time in a virtual world, but it will help to keep your vision healthy!

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-254-2211 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland and St. Charles eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

What Are The Main Causes Of Blindness?

Back-To-School: Why Eye Exams Are More Important Than Ever

7 Reasons To Wear Sunglasses

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Is School Work Causing Computer Vision Syndrome in Your Child?

Eye health tips for students from our Overland eye doctor

The start of fall means back-to-school for kids of all ages – and our team at Overland Optical Family Eye Care wishes everyone a smooth and successful return to the classroom!

When your child enters school after a summer of outdoor fun, many of the summer’s vision hazards are left behind. Yet, that doesn’t mean all eye health risks are eliminated! Nowadays, the majority of learning is computer based – exposing students’ eyes to the pain and dangers of blue light and computer vision syndrome. Fortunately, a variety of helpful devices and smartphone apps are available to block blue light and keep your child’s vision safe and comfortable.

To help you safeguard your child’s vision for the upcoming semesters and the long term of life, our Overland optometrist explains all about computer vision syndrome and how to prevent it.

Symptoms of computer vision syndrome

It’s smart to familiarize yourself with the signs of computer vision syndrome. If your child complains about any of these common symptoms, you can help prevent any lasting vision damage by booking an eye exam with our Overland eye doctor near you:

  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Neck, shoulder and back pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes, due to reduced blinking
  • Headaches

Basics of blue light

Students spend endless hours in front of digital screens, be it a computer monitor, tablet, or smartphone. There is homework to be done, research to be conducted, texting with friends, and movies and gaming during downtime. All of this screen time exposes your child’s eyes to blue light.

Many research studies have demonstrated that flickering blue light – the shortest, highest-energy wavelength of visible light – can lead to tired eyes, headaches, and blurry vision. Additionally, blue light can disrupt the sleep/wake cycle, causing sleep deprivation and all the physical and mental health problems associated with it. As for your child’s future eye health, blue light may also be linked to the later development of macular degeneration and retinal damage.

How to avoid computer vision syndrome

Our Overland eye doctor shares the following ways to block blue light and protect against computer vision syndrome:

  • Computer glasses, eyeglasses lenses treated with a blue-light blocking coating, and contact lenses with built-in blue light protection are all effective ways to optimize visual comfort when working in front of a screen. These optics reduce eye strain and prevent hazardous blue-light radiation from entering the eyes.
  • Practice the 20-20-20 rule; pause every 20 minutes to gaze at an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This simple behavior gives eyes a chance to rest from the intensity of the computer or smartphone screen, preventing eye fatigue.
  • Prescription glasses can be helpful when using a computer for long periods – even for students who don’t generally need prescription eyewear. A weak prescription can take the stress off of your child’s eyes, decreasing fatigue and increasing their ability to concentrate. Our Overland optometrist will perform a personalized eye exam to determine the most suitable prescription.
  • Moisturize vision with eye drops. One of the most common symptoms of computer vision syndrome is dry eyes, namely because people forget to blink frequently enough. Equip your child with a bottle of preservative-free artificial tears eye drops (available over the counter) and remind them to blink!
  • Blue light filters can be installed on a computer, smartphone, and all digital screens to minimize exposure to blue. A range of helpful free apps are also available for download.
  • Limit screen time for your child each day, or encourage breaks at least once an hour. Typically, the degree of discomfort from computer vision syndrome is in direct proportion with the amount of time your child spends viewing digital screens.
  • Set the proper screen distance. Younger children (elementary school) should view their computer at a half-arm’s length away from their eyes, just below eye level. Kids in middle school and high school should sit about 20 – 28 inches from the screen, with the top of the screen at eye level.

For additional info, book a consultation and eye exam at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

When you and your child meet with our Overland eye doctor, we’ll ask questions about your child’s school and study habits to provide customized recommendations on the most effective ways to stay safe from computer vision syndrome and blue light. Our optometrist stays up-to-date with the latest optic technologies and methods to prevent painful vision and eye health damage from using a computer, so you can depend on us for contemporary, progressive treatment.

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