Varsity Optical

Create a pair of spectacles as unique as you are!

Sunglasses and UV Protection: How Does it Work?

We all know how handy a pair of polarized sunglasses can be on a hot and sunny day, but have you ever wondered where they get the superpower to protect your skin and eyes? Aside from offering a stylish spot of shade for your sensitive eyes, a pair of UV protected sunglasses will protect them from the harmful damage caused by the sun’s glare. To learn more about UV protection, polarization, and the benefits of sunglasses for your eyes, read this blog post.

Sun Damage: Risks

It may surprise you that your eyes are just as susceptible to damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays as your skin is. UVA rays in particular are capable of harming the retina in the back of the eyes, while UVB rays can ruin the outside of the cornea, which protects your eyes. Even in the shade, your sight can be worsened by strong glares. While a great pair of sunglasses is a fashion statement, it can also protect your sensitive eye lenses from getting cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium from the sun, which can all significantly impact your vision.

How it Happens

It isn’t the shade of lenses that determines the amount of sun resistance, but rather the percentage of UV protection they provide. When you are shopping around for a pair of your own, be sure to look for pairs that offer 100% protection from UV rays to be safe. A typical pair of sunglasses have lenses that are enrobed in a UV coating, which both absorbs and reflects the light that could negatively impact your vision.

A 100% effective UV protected pair of sunglasses will be able to block the invisible radiation the sun gives. In order to prevent eye damage caused by bright glare, a quality pair of sunglasses will also feature a polarizing film which gets rid of the glare that comes off of horizontal surfaces like roads and water.

Conclusion

When it comes down to sun protection, it is crucial your sunglasses are able to shield your eyes from the cancer-causing UV rays that put you at risk. Now that you know how effective they truly are, don’t forget to keep up with your routine eye exams to maintain your eye health. For excellent prescription sunglasses and professional eye exams, you can count on us at Varsity Optical.

Benefits of Laser Eye Correction

When it comes to laser eye correction, it has quickly become a common procedure to correct refractive vision issues. In fact, over 600,000 American choose laser eye surgery each year to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. For most patients, LASIK results provide noticeable improvement to your vision. Not only that, but it also offers numerous benefits that you might not have known. Whether you have worn contacts or glasses your entire life or only in the past couple years, there are some reasons that it is a must to consider this procedure.

Results That Last

In order for your vision to fully heal and correct, it will take a three month stabilization period. Once fully healed, the results should be permanent. There may be a time in the future where your age will begin to slightly change your eyesight. It is at this time a patient will require a follow-up eye surgery.

Quick Recovery

Though you can’t drive home after the laser eye correction, you can return to your normal life within the next 24 hours. If you work in an environment that is dirty or dusty, it is best to let your eyes heal a little more before diving back into that area. You want your eyes to heal fully before allowing dirt and dust into your immediate area.

Improved Peripheral Vision

An added benefit of vision correction is the improvement to peripheral vision. Glasses don’t wrap around your eyes making your peripheral vision blurry. With the help of laser correction surgery, you can get your full vision back without the blur.

No More Contacts

If you have contacts, you know that you are breaking the bank every year and it adds up quickly. The estimated annual cost of contacts is $375-$450. We understand that the price tag on laser eye correction is expensive compared to an annual payment for contacts but in the long run, LASIK will help save you money along the way. Not only that, but you will no longer have to deal with lens solutions, poking your eyeball, or crawling around the floor looking for a contact that fell into the carpet.

If you want the freedom that comes along with laser eye correction, you need a team you know you can trust by your side. That’s where we can help. Here at Varsity Optical, we understand the importance of having corrected eyesight and are here to help. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can change your life for the better.

What Is OCT?

OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography, a noninvasive diagnostic imaging technique invented in 1991. OCT’s main purpose is to examine retinal structures and expose activities of blinding diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Get to learn the ins and outs of this fantastic technology in this blogpost!

Optical Coherence Tomography images.

“Optical Coherence”

The invention of the OCT is indebted to many discoveries, but especially to that of Scottish physicist Maxwell, who concluded that light was an electromagnetic phenomenon. When an OCT light source emits the dim red electromagnetic beams onto retinal tissue, the tissue reflects the beams back to the detector. This technique utilizes light that has a low degree of coherence, meaning its electromagnetic waves of the same frequency moving past a fixed location are “out of phase.” (i.e. The waves do not line up exactly.) Low-coherence beams produce interference patterns when in contact with retinal tissue, and voila—you get OCT images.

Diabetic retinopathy shows up.

“Tomography”

“Tomography” comes from the Greek words tomos and graphos, which mean “section” and “something written or drawn,” respectively. If you’re supposing that “section” here refers to cross-section, you’re correct! OCT captures cross-sectional images, or slices, of retinas in a way that is similar to ultrasound—except that OCT employs light rather than sound. How effective is this tomography? Well, let’s just say that maintaining the resolution of (usually) 10 to 20 microns while penetrating through turbid tissue is no biggie for this technology. After all, the inventors of OCT had to be up for the challenge of determining the maximum amount of power that could be transmitted into the eye.

Other Applications

Optical coherence tomography is not exclusive to ocular imaging. OCT is useful for diagnosing skin diseases, dental diseases, and more, since it renders excision and biopsy for various tissue types and specimen types. Some also find OCT appealing for analyzing painted surfaces and glass, as the noninvasive imaging seems useful for artwork conservation (especially for masterpieces made out of paper and/or textile). Excessive exposure to light can potentially cause damage to artworks, so the conservers would have to use caution.

#SupportTheArts

Conclusion

Your retinas are precious and often irreplaceable. The importance of maintaining your eye health cannot be understated. Don’t wait until the last minute for checkups; take advantage of Optical Coherence Tomography by dropping by Varsity Optical. Have all your retinal needs taken care of today!

3 Reasons You Need an Annual Eye Exam

If you are somebody who doesn’t need glasses, you may think that you don’t need an annual eye exam, but you would be wrong! Regular eye exams are important for more than just reading letters on the wall. A comprehensive eye exam can detect eye disease, vision problems, and general health problems that can be present without you being aware that a problem exists.

The demands on your eyes are greater than ever and it’s incredibly important to take good care of them. Here are a few of the daily threats against your eyes that make an annual, comprehensive eye exam so important.

Digital Eye Strain

Screens are a huge part of our lives in this day and age. Whether it’s your computer, smart phone, e-reader, gaming console, television, or tablet, you’re straining your eyes on a daily basis. In fact, the use of digital devices has transformed the most basic function of our eyes: the way we blink throughout the day.

When you blink your eyes, you are lubricating them with your eyelids; this helps to slow the evaporation of your tear film over your eyes. When we stare at our screens, we blink at a much slower rate than normal, placing immense strain on your eyes and you may end up with dry eye symptoms.

Sun Damage

We are exposed to UV sun rays on a daily basis. Though the sun is usually associated with skin cancer, the threat to your eyes is also important to keep in mind. It is important that you always wear UV blocking sunglasses if you are going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time. Too much sun exposure can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.

Vision Correction

When it comes to vision problems such a nearsightedness and farsightedness, you will need routine checkups with your eye doctor. First off, you always want to make sure you are seeing as well as you possibly can. Not only that, but you also want to make sure your prescription is always up to date. Next, if you are a contacts type of person, you need an eye doctor who will carefully monitor your eye health. Contacts restrict the amount of oxygen your eyes receive and can also mess with the lubrication of your eyes.

You lead a very busy life and your annual eye exam may get put on the back burner. Just know that your eye health is incredibly important and you need to make the time for your annual, comprehensive eye exam from a trained professional. Here at Varsity Optical, we are here for you every step of the way.

Four Myths about Contact Lenses Worth Debunking

Millions of people in the United States switch from their trusty spectacles to contact lenses every year. Whether you’re tired of keeping track of your glasses, you like the convenience of contacts, or perhaps you think you simply look better without glasses, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to switch. If you’ve done research into contacts, chances are you’ve run across some horror stories and cautionary tales about them. While a healthy dose of skepticism is always a good thing, there are dozens of unfounded myths about contacts that you shouldn’t take into consideration. The following are 5 falsehoods about contact lenses that need to be thrown into the dustbin of history.

Aren’t Contacts Uncomfortable?

The first few times one puts a contact in their eye it’s probably going to feel a little strange. You’re inserting a foreign object in your eye after all! However, over the decade’s contacts have evolved into a much more comfortable and convenient option for those who want to ditch their glasses. Once you get used to the process of inserting the lens onto your eye, you’ll quickly adjust to the feeling and likely forget you’re even wearing them. If discomfort persists, contact your optician.

Don’t They Get Lodged or Lost in Your Eye?

One of the major myths about contact lenses is that they have a tendency to get stuck on your eyeball or even slide to the opposite side of your eye. Both of these fears are unfounded and untrue. While a lens can get dry and stuck on your eye after prolonged use, a little saline solution or eye drops will quickly alleviate the problem. As for the concern about the lens sliding to the dark side of your eyeball, there is literally no chance of that happening. There’s a thin membrane that connects your eyelid to your eye that acts as a guard against foreign objects passing through so you can rest assured you won’t lose your lens.

Aren’t They Really Hard to Take Care Of?

If you’ve only been talking to folks who wore contact lenses back in ancient times, you might think they’re hard to take care of. This is not true anymore. Nowadays, one can take care of their lenses with one bottle of lens solution. In recent years, the advent of one-day-use contact lenses had made this even easier. With disposable contacts, you can skip the lens care system altogether.

Don’t Contacts Damage Your Eyes?

If you aren’t diligent in taking the lenses out of your eye, or you don’t follow the explicit instructions from your doctor, contacts can cause irreparable damage to your eyes. If you’re being diligent about taking them out, replacing them, and following applicable cleaning instructions, you should have little to no issues. Contact your optician if you have questions or concerns about your contact lens care regimen.

Conclusion:

It’s understandable to have reservations about trying something new. When it comes to switching to contact lenses over glasses, or simply using them as a supplement to wearing glasses, there’s basically nothing to worry about. With advances in lens technology and manufacturing, contacts can now correct for presbyopia, astigmatism, and much more. When you decide to finally take the plunge, contact Varsity Optical for all your contact lens needs.

What Makes Famous Eyewear Famous?

John Lennon’s circular silver spectacles. Elton John’s flamboyant frames. Buddy Holly’s trademarked black-rimmed glasses. These are quintessential examples of the intersection of fame and fashion. Each pair of glasses are as indelible as the individual themselves; an inextricable part of their personal image and a touchstone of cultural iconography.

These pairs of glasses are so famous you can probably envision them with the mere mention of the person’s name. Popchart recently tested this proposition with an infographic of 73 of the most famous frames ever. How many can you recognize without looking at the name?

So what makes these frames fame worthy? Obviously, the individual wearing them as a great deal to do with that, but is there something about their complexion, color, or clarity influencing their ability to permeate popular culture? We analyzed different characteristics to find out if there were some commonalities between them.

 

What Not To Do

When it comes to creating a timeless look, there are a couple things to avoid. For instance, single lens glasses only make up eight of the 73 pairs on the chart. Similarly, glasses that remove the bridge (Cyclops and Geordi La Forge) have a hard time breaking through to superstardom. The next piece of advice probably goes without saying, but we will say it anyway: do not attach a prosthetic nose to your glasses. Humpty Hump and Groucho Marx are the two exceptions to this rule.

Steve Jobs is one of the few people who has successfully pulled off circular lens.

Steve Jobs is one of the few people who has successfully pulled off circular lens.

What Works

There is no master recipe for iconic glasses. The examples on this chart run the gamut from flashy (Elton John and Dolores “Lolita” Haze) to ordinary (Steven Spielberg and Clark Kent) to just plain odd (Lady Gaga and Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn.) We did find some common traits though. For instance, color is key. Excluding the grey scale, 27 pairs of glasses incorporated color. Sixteen did so with colorful rims while fifteen added color with tints. Added color garners more attention than a traditional pair of black frames. People simply notice when other people wear glasses that are out of the ordinary. Bono is a perfect example. His tinted wrap-around lenses are the first things that catch the eye when you look at a picture of him.

The second common trait is tinting. Glasses with tints make up 31 of the 73 total pairs on the chart. While some of the tints are more of an aesthetic flourish than a practical one (Bootsy Collins and Randy “Macho Man” Savage), most are designed to hide the individuals’ eyes from onlookers. This ocular barricade creates allure and intrigue through its restricted access to “the windows to the soul.” That is because people use eye contact to inform their judgment about other people’s intelligence, confidence, and sincerity. Without it, the observee becomes more mysterious.

The third trait is arguably the most important. Bigger is better. Thirty-nine of the 73 pairs are larger than necessary. This includes Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s aviators, MC Hammer’s Cazal 858s, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s goggles. The logic here is simple. Big glasses are an easy way to make a bold fashion statement. Plus, they go well with a lot of faces. They are particularly good for round face shapes, and can also be worn on smaller faces without overwhelming them. Some might even say large glasses are spectacular (pun intended).

No Mahatma Gandhi statue is complete without a pair of spectacles.

No Mahatma Gandhi statue is complete without a pair of spectacles.

Conclusion

The person wearing the glasses is the most important factor in making eyewear famous. Some eccentricities help though. If you want to create the next big thing, go big, go bright, and go for tints. From Elton to Elvis, these are the most common traits among famous glasses. Now the real question: What would your one-of-a-kind frames look like? Tell us in the comments section below.

6 Signs You Might Need Glasses

Have you found yourself squinting more often? Do you need to put your face closer to the computer screen or your book just so you can see what you are doing? If so, it might be time for you to start wearing glasses. How can you be sure? Well Varsity Optometry is here to break it down for you.

Signs you Need Glasses!

It’s Difficult to See

This is an obvious one, but it’s important. Having trouble seeing things that you’re used to seeing easily is a bad sign. While having trouble reading clearly or watching T.V without squinting is important, being able to see things like stop signs clearly is crucial for your safety. Don’t ignore what your eyes are telling you.

Eyes are Hurting

Again this one should tip you off that something is wrong. When eye strain becomes a common occurrence, a likely reason is that your eyes are trying too hard to make out what you’re seeing. Eye strain doesn’t always lead to long term eye damage and can just be caused by staring at a bright screen for too long. However, this is definitely a reason to get you to start thinking about getting glasses.

Headaches Suck

Headaches can be caused by many things. One common cause is from continued eye strain. When the eyes overwork they enflame nerve endings and create headaches. Not so fun fact, but your headaches aren’t actually your brain hurting. If you’re constantly getting headaches, it’s likely something to do with eye strain.

Seeing Double

Your eye muscles do a lot. They effortless transfer from close up to far away. This allows you to see something right in from of your face clearly while being able to look off into the distance and be able to see things far away. When you start to have trouble making this transition between nearsightedness and farsightedness there’s a problem with your eye muscles. This can also cause double vision. Glasses work to correct this.

Can You See in the Dark?

While humans don’t have amazing eyesight in the dark, they are able to see moderately well. One amazing thing that humans can do is a transition between light and dark while still being able to see. When you start to have eyesight problems, seeing in the dark becomes more difficult.

Weakening night vision can be a sign that you are nearsighted or that you have astigmatism. Cataracts can also cause these kinds of issues. Your optometrist should be able to easily identify if this is the problem or it’s simply the need for glasses.

Genetics

Unfortunately for those of you whose parents wear glasses or contacts, you might be experiencing the same problems. Poor eyesight is definitely hereditary. On the bright side, this makes it easy to tell if you should go see your optometrist.

 

There are many ways to tell if you might need to be wearing glasses. No matter what, if you’re having trouble with your eyesight, it’s always a good idea to go see a trained professional. Trust Varsity Optometry for all of your eye care and glasses needs!

Why Eye Exams Are Important

Do you have 20/20 vision; perhaps you wear contacts or glasses throughout the day? Getting an annual eye exam is important for everyone. Eye exams ensure normal vision development for adults and children of all ages. Your optometrist can look for any underlying problems and give you the best solutions for your vision needs.

Detecting Health Problems

During your exam, your eye doctor will look for eye muscle imbalance, vision disorders, and eye diseases that could potentially cause future problems. A common disease that is prevalent for most people with vision problems is the progression of near-sightedness, also known as Myopia. Myopia can be monitored by your local optometrist with regular eye exams.

 

Don’t Rely on Screenings

Screenings are partial, limited eye evaluations that take place outside an eye doctor’s office. There’s no doubt that they can be helpful at times in detecting some problems with vision, but patients can have a more in-depth evaluation done by an actual eye doctor. The doctor can provide an entire eye care history and patients can take advantage of the doctor’s diagnostic and treatment tools.

Optical Equipment

At your eye doctor’s office, you can find professional optical equipment that your optometrist will use to perform the exam. He or she may use retinal imaging and threshold visual field testing for a more precise visual image of your eyes. These types of instruments allow your optometrist to better determine if your sight has diminished.

Options to Improve Sight

Getting an annual eye exam can get you on the right track for the eye care that you need. If your eyesight has weakened, then your optometrist can recommend prescription glasses, contact lenses, or possible laser eye surgery. Prescription glasses are a great option for easy wear to take on and off. For contacts, you can choose daily, weekly, or monthly prescriptions depending on your personal preference.

Conclusion

Recommended annual eye exams are necessary for eye health. There are many available options out there to get the correct treatment to improve vision.  Don’t skip your eye exam!

Color Blindness, Dissected

You may have seen the colorful, pointillistic Ishihara test plates that are used to diagnose color blindness. But how does it work?

The Ishihara Test plates. So pretty.

Cones, Cones, Cones

No, this is not about those waffle containers for rainbow sherbets. See, a “cone” is also a word for a type of a photoreceptor (a light-sensitive cell in the retina of the human eye) that enables the brain’s perception of color. The human eye has three types of cones that are responsible for handling blues, greens, and reds, respectively.

What Causes Color Blindness?

When these cones are defective, the eye experiences color blind vision. Deuteranopia, also known as red-green color blindness, is inherited through the X chromosome, and therefore predominantly affects more men than women; to be affected, a woman—having two X chromosomes—needs both of her parents to carry the gene, whereas a man—having just one X chromosome and one Y chromosome—needs only his mother to be the carrier. In contrast, tritanomaly (insensitivity to blues), affects men and women equally. Other causes of color blindness include: glaucoma, shaken baby syndrome (abusive head trauma in childhood), retinal damage by diabetes, overexposure to ultraviolet light, and smoking tobacco.

Sisters, do kindly help guys match those red ties.

Differently Color Blind

Here are some different types of color blindness:

Deuteranopia (blind to greens): Greens and reds are often indistinguishable.

Protanopia (blind to reds): Red looks like black.

Tritanopia (blind to blues): Blues and yellows are often indistinguishable.

The different spectra in color wheels.

I Am Color Blind. What Can I Do?

Varsity Optical makes available various prescription sunglasses from EnChroma to help. If there are still some subtleties that color-enhancing eyewear cannot bridge, remember: you have a superpower. You literally see the world in a way that “color-sighted” folks cannot! Sure, stoplights may not be the easiest thing in the world to read, but you are among the likes of Claude Monet, Charles Méryon, and other color blind geniuses.

Color blind or not, every eye is a masterpiece.

By the Way, Everyone Is Color Blind!

As it turns out, although human beings see many more colors than dogs and cats, they are still color blind!

Take for example the mantis shrimp, which has twelve cones in it’s’ eyes, and is presumably able to see four times as many colors as human beings. The common bluebottle butterfly, which possesses fifteen different types of photoreceptors, is presumably able to see much that is beyond the human range of color!

So there you have it – Color blindness is not unique to the Deuteranope or the Protanope. Even the “color-sighted” are blind to numerous colors. We can all use some good eyeglass help!

Top 3 Types of Contact Lenses

Woman sitting in Optometrist office.

Glasses and eyewear have undergone extreme changes within the last 30 years alone! With the advent of contact lenses in the late ‘60s signifying this grand shift, now you don’t have to strictly use glasses and frames for everyday use. Contacts are an alternative to corrective vision instruments. One that lets you have great vision without using glasses every day. If you are thinking about making the switch, read more about the top three, most used types of contact lenses below!

Soft Contacts                       

The most widely used contacts lenses are soft contacts, which are made from a special water, plastic, and gel-based substance that makes them comfortable to wear. They are easy to place on the cornea and adjust your eyesight almost instantly. The different types of soft contacts range from extended wear lenses that can last weeks to a month, daily wear lenses that are good for one-day usage, and to colored lenses for enhanced eye color. We’ll go into the cosmetic application about lenses in a bit, but in terms of usage, the average contact consumer uses some form of soft contacts every day.

Hard Contacts

Hard contacts have changed in numerous ways from the original glass lenses that caused irritation to your eyes back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Most hard contacts are now made with a more breathable plastic substance that allows oxygen to travel over the eye which eliminates redness and irritation. This type of contact lenses is really the ‘big-gun’ of the optical vision world, as hard contacts are mainly used for those with astigmatism or specific optometry conditions. Hallmark qualities of hard contact lenses are that they are reusable – one set often lasting weeks or months – and are not flexible like soft contacts. With that said, out of all contact lenses, hard contacts offer the strongest level of vision improvement.

Colored Contact Lenses/Enhancers

As the medical uses of contacts have risen in recent years, their cosmetic applications have grown exponentially as well! There are even soft contact lenses that improve your vision but also enhance the current color of your eyes, truly making them pop. After it was discovered that you can wear color lenses or have colored irises added in to the fabrication process, colored contacts were born.

Colored contact lenses.

Just think of the uses: have you ever wanted to change your eye color? Have you wanted to try out a deep chocolate brown, a sea-blue eye, or even a fun color like red, purple, and even pure black? With colored contacts, you can use them for almost everything from vision improvement to changing your iris color for fun!

Conclusion

What type of contact lenses do you like? Are you open to making the switch from glasses to contacts, or do you to have both options at your fingertips? Comment below about which content lenses you use and what you love about them!

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