Skip to main content

Find Us Across From I-91 Northbound On/Off Ramp | (802) 254-9012

Brattleboro Family Eye Care
Home »

Author: brattleborofamilyeyecare

How Makeup Users Can Prevent Eye Health Issues

makeup and eye problems800x450

Beauty is important to lots of people. Beauty lovers can spend a tremendous amount of time and money trying to spruce up their looks, often by applying makeup. But if makeup is not used appropriately near the eyes, it can lead to some pretty unpleasant consequences—including infection, allergic reactions, or injury—regardless of whether or not you’re being careful.

Dodge Infection

Developing an eye infection defeats the purpose of wearing makeup in the first place. After all, there’s nothing pleasant about a puffy, red eye. You can avoid this by following some basic rules and applying common sense to your makeup routine.

If cosmetics are used for longer than recommended, bacteria and fungi can grow. Cosmetics should be discarded and replaced according to manufacturer recommendations—commonly every three months for mascara. Write the purchase date on the packaging to keep track of the dates.

In addition, clean your brushes and other applicators regularly to remove pathogens. And if you’ve had an eye infection, discard and replace all eye makeup to prevent reinfection.

Sharing cosmetics, including the use of tester products in stores, is another potential avenue for introducing infection. One of the most common infections transmitted via makeup is conjunctivitis, which is inflammation of the membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid and the outer surface of the eye. Using disposable applicators may reduce the risk of transmission; however, bacteria and fungi may still be present in the cosmetic container if it is not wiped clean between uses.

Proper storage can also contribute to product safety. The FDA recommends storing all eye cosmetics at temperatures below 85˚F, as products stored at higher temperatures are more susceptible to deterioration of the preservative.

Two more important tips for preventing eye infections: Don’t “top-off” dry mascara with water and don’t use lip liners on your eyes.

Be Wary of Allergies

Not all reactions to makeup are caused by infection. Sometimes, allergies can be the culprit. Common allergens found in cosmetics include nickel, iron oxide, and ingredients found in preservatives and fragrances.

Also, don’t rely on the term “hypo-allergenic” —this label is no guarantee that the product is allergen-free. Try to introduce new cosmetic products one at a time to determine your sensitivity to specific components, especially if you are prone to allergies.

Think Twice to Avert Injury

Applying makeup around the eyes requires a steady hand. Mechanical injury to the eye can result in corneal abrasions, or worse. For this reason, you should never put on makeup in a moving vehicle—especially if you’re the one driving.

You can also avoid tempting fate by wearing makeup only on the distal, or outside, lash margin—and never inside, where you might introduce bacteria to the ocular surface. Placing makeup along the inside of the lash margin also can plug up your glands.

Focus on Contact Lens Cleanliness

When you apply makeup before putting on contact lenses, some of the oils or bits of makeup can smudge or get stuck on the lens. For this reason, it’s best to wash your hands, put in your contact lenses, and then apply makeup as a final step. There is one exception to this process: If you wear hard, or rigid, contacts, insert them after makeup application, but use caution to avoid smearing the lens during the process.

Also, consider the types of eye makeup you use. Even for non contact lens wearers, glittery or metallic eyeshadows should be avoided since it can get trapped under lenses.

Finally, whatever makeup you put on needs to come off at bedtime. Depending on what type of makeup you use, ordinary soap and water may not do the trick—especially on mascara. When mascara dries, it gets stiff and can cause the natural eyelash to break, possibly leading to lid disease, ocular surface disease, and contact lens intolerance.

Steer clear of these beauty regimen roadblocks by thoroughly cleansing your face at night. Simple precautions to maintain eye health while using cosmetics can help keep your eyes not only looking great, but also feeling and functioning at their best.

Tips for Home Safety

A lot of people are staying home these days. Whether you’re working from home, homeschooling your kids, or whatever reason, there are still ways that eye injuries can happen.

Almost half of the eye injuries that happen each year happen at home!

That means that, in the places people should be safest, they’re still getting over a million eye injuries a year. The good news is that eye injuries are easy to prevent, so let’s take a look at the measures we can take to make our homes more eye-safe!

The Main Eye Safety Risks at Home

All kinds of innocent objects can become eye hazards in an accident, from pens and pencils to the corners of furniture. However, it’s actually cleaning chemicals and toys with small pieces that pose the greatest hazard to the unwary eye. Even leaning too close to a skillet with hot oil in it can put our eyes in danger.

Out on the lawn, there are additional hazards, such as the debris flying out of lawnmowers and some gardening and work tools. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that we use in our lawns and gardens can also be dangerous. So how do we protect our eyes?

A Few Quick Tips for an Eye-Safe Home

cleaners 665

  1. Use protective eyewear. Always wear safety glasses or goggles when working with chemicals or other materials (such as sawdust or wood chips or shavings) that could spray up towards the eyes.
  2. Minimize trip hazards. Secure any rugs and make sure to equip stairways with proper railings and lighting. Also keep things tidy!
  3. Clear the lawn. Before you mow or use a weed eater, clean up any items that could be flung around at dangerous speeds if the blades catch them.
  4. Read warning labels. Make sure to use cleaning chemicals properly and be very careful about which ones you use together. No matter which ones you use, wash your hands afterwards.
  5. Don’t touch your eyes! Particularly while using cleaners (but it’s a good idea any time), avoid touching your eyes and wash them often.
  6. Store tools and cleaners safely. Children and pets shouldn’t be able to get to them.

Make a First Aid and Emergency Plan

Part of minimizing the risk of injury is having a plan in place for if one happens. The most common types of eye injuries are when a foreign substance or object gets in the eye or when a foreign body penetrates the eye. Seek immediate medical attention in the case of the latter, and don’t try to remove the object or touch the eye. Use a rigid shield (like a paper cup) to protect it en route to an emergency room.

If a foreign object gets in the eye, a trip to the hospital is still a good idea, and it’s still important not to touch it. It could be worse than it looks. Sometimes foreign objects can be flushed out with water, and if it’s a chemical, flushing with water for 20 minutes is a good measure to wash as much of it as possible out of the eye and minimize any harmful effects.

Come to Us With Eye Safety Questions

If you’re looking for any additional advice on home eye safety or would like to run your eye injury emergency plan past us, we’d be happy to help! This is especially important for households with young children or people with limited mobility.

And as always, we are available 24/7 for eye emergencies – just give our office a call!

Four Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy This Fall

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

Protect those peepers when raking leaves.

Photograph of a rake in fall leaves

Raking or blowing leaves can send pieces of plant material into your eyes. This 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.

Photograph of a woman wearing a halloween costume and decorative contact lenses

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.

Photograph of a woman dressed for fall 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 lubricating 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

5 Tips for First Time Contact Lens Wearers

First time contact lens wearerCongratulations on getting your first pair of contact lenses! If you’re like most people, you’ll probably spend the first few days marveling at small visual details that you never noticed before—like dew on the grass and small specks of color on bright green leaves.

It’s a very exciting time but, as with anything new, it might be a little scary too. After all, contact lenses are high-tech medical devices and your vision is one of your most valued senses. As such, it’s important to make good choices so you stay comfortable, happy and safe. Here are five tips designed to put you on the path to a lifetime of success with your new contact lenses.

1. Relax. Lots of people worry that they’ll scratch their eyes while putting their lenses in or—worse—that the contact lens will get stuck behind their eye. Relax. Inserting and removing lenses might make you nervous at first, but as awkward as it may seem, there is no need to be afraid to touch your eye as long as your hands are clean. Plus, the inside of your eyelids are connected to the back of your eye, so your lenses can’t possibly slip into an abyss.

2. Keep lenses clean. Don’t take shortcuts with lens cleaning. Your doctor will give you instructions that are specific to the lens care regime that is chosen for you. For example, if you are told to use a multipurpose solution, every time you remove your lenses, you should rub and rinse and then place them into fresh solution. Don’t just top off the solution that’s already in the case. When you put your lenses on in the morning, empty out the case completely, rinse with fresh solution and leave it uncapped and upside down, on a paper towel to air dry. Your lens case should be replaced every 3 months. If this cleaning routine sounds like too much of a bother, ask your doctor for a daily disposable, such as Acuvue 1 Day or Proclear Dailies. These lenses can be thrown out every night and exchanged for a fresh new pair each morning, eliminating cleaning and storage concerns.

3. Hydrate. Whether or not you wear contact lenses, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. In addition, depending on your lifestyle and environment, you may wish to supplement your fluid intake with rewetting drops for your eyes. For example, people who spend a lot of time on the computer or are exposed to dry air, heating or air conditioning often benefit from eye drops—even if they don’t wear contacts. The important rule of thumb if you wear contacts is that you need to make sure that the drop you use is compatible with your lenses. Talk to your doctor about which drops are best for you.

4. Follow your doctor’s recommendations. Use only the products that are suggested by your eye doctor. Don’t substitute lens care products, even for a store brand, without checking with your doctor first. The solution you have was chosen specifically for your type of lens, so don’t make assumptions based on broadly-defined packaging labels. It’s also important to keep your appointments. Whatever follow-up schedule your doctor set, stick to it.

5. Adhere to the prescribed wearing and replacement schedule. Don’t try to write your own rules. Wear your lenses only for the amount of time that your doctor says is safe and replace the lenses according to schedule. Don’t try to stretch out the life of your lenses an extra week. Also, unless you were specifically prescribed continuous wear lenses, you should never sleep in your contacts.

Learning how to do anything new takes time. In fact, it may take about a week until you adapt to your new life with contact lenses and feel truly confident. But, before you know it, contact lenses will become a valued part of the fabric of your life.

Interesting Facts About Eyes

download (1)

Though we take it for granted, the miracle of vision is one of the greatest gifts we have just by virtue of being members of the human race. Just simple things like seeing a deer in the wilderness, watching our favorite sports teams and viewing great works of art enrich our lives in absolutely immeasurable quantities.Nevertheless, how much do we really know about these mysterious organs, the eyes that make all of these magical experiences possible?

Interesting facts about eyes that you probably didn’t know

  • Your eyes are about 1 inch across and weigh about 0.25 ounce.
  • The human eye can differentiate approximately 10 million different colors.
  • Our eyes remain the same size throughout life, whereas our nose and ears never stop growing.
  • The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year. This means if you were given a nickel for every time you blinked you would make $210,000 annually. If only there was a job out there like THAT…
  • Eyes are made up of over 2 million working parts.
  • Each individual eye contains 107 million cells and all are light sensitive
  • Your eye is the fastest muscle in your body. Hence, the phrase: “In the blink of an eye.”
  • The world’s most common eye color is brown.
  • Brown eyes are blue eyes underneath. Consequently, a person can receive surgery in order to make their brown eyes blue.
  • “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” is a song recorded by American country music artist Crystal Gayle.
  • The night vision of tigers is six times better than that of humans.
  • Ommetaphobia is the fear of eyes.
  • Pirates wore earrings because they believed it improved their eyesight.

These are just a few of the countless facts to be learned about one of our bodies most complex and interesting organs.

Masking the Fog


So it turns out that wearing a mask is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others when you haven’t got a choice about social distancing and need to go out. That said, if you thought glasses fogging up in the winter was frustrating then welcome to foggy glasses from wearing a mask. Brutal.

Never fear though! There are solutions. Here are a few of our favourites.


One of the most effective ways is to tape the top of your mask to your face. Air simply cannot escape up to your glasses and so the fogging stops! Don’t use regular tape though. Surgical tape is your best option to avoid skin irritation. Still, while this works great it does require taping a mask to your face which maybe isn’t going to work for you.


Sounds awkward and it is, but if you line the top of your mask with a little kleenex (or other disposable item) it also blocks air from blowing up and fogging your lenses. It’s not as effective as tape but it does the trick. Just make sure to replace it regularly. Any time a mask or anything touching it gets too wet it can start to harbour germs, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to do.


There are a lot of different anti fog products out there. The one Dr. Cotter and our staff members have been using is called Fog Stopper! We sell it in our office so if you want to give it a try we can help you out!




A good quality medical mask that’s properly fit will help since it shouldn’t allow any air out other than through the filters that are built-in. This is a great option if you have access but as many of you have found, finding good quality medical masks right now is a huge challenge.


No one wants to look like an old school librarian but if you slide your glasses down your nose a bit it increases the space between your face and glasses and reduces the risk of fogging. Just don’t slide them so far down they fall off!

What we DON’T recommend:

Soap, toothpaste, shaving cream and a myriad of other options have been roaming around the internet as people struggle to prevent fogging. While these options may work, there is a risk of damaging the coatings on the lens or even the lens itself! Use these techniques at your own risk.

NoSoapDetergent 300×300toothpaste 1

Face the Frames

How to Select Frames for Your Glasses

Learning how to select frames for your glasses might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. We know that frames can be as much of an aesthetic choice as they are a practical one! There are a few easy ways to determine which frames would best flatter your face and show off your style and personality.


Here are some tips and pointers on how to choose the right frame for you!

Step #1Identify your face shape.5fbbe69132529e0f74f211a771f13a0a

Identifying your face shape is a good place to start when it comes to learning how to select frames. The secret to finding the perfect frames is choosing a pair that best suits your face shape. In order to find your face shape, trace your face on a mirror using a dry-erase marker. Once you know your face shape, you will know how to select your frames.


For every face shape, there are complementary frames that can help balance your look. Certain frames can accentuate or even slim certain features. If you have an oval-shaped face, good news, you will look amazing in most frames. A heart-shaped face will excel in round frames that are thicker on the top in order to balance a small chin.


Step #2Choose colors that complement your skin tone.

The next step in determining how to select frames is to choose colors that complement your skin tone. Finding colors that coincide with your skin tone doesn’t have to be difficult. If you have a cool-colored skin tone, opt for shades of black, gray, and blue. If your skin tone is warm, you would benefit from warm colors, such as tan, pink, and red. As always, when you learn how to select frames, it is easy to know which colors suit your skin.


Just think of the color of the clothes you feel most comfortable wearing. The same rule applies to frames for your glasses. Once you know which colors suit your skin, selecting frames can be simple. And don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through the color of your frames as well. When learning how to select frames, knowing the colors that suit your skin will help you find the perfect frames.

Step #3Consider your way of living.

Each of us spends our days differently, which is why you must contemplate your lifestyle before making a decision on frames. If you are an athlete or if you work in a labor-intensive industry, such as construction, you’ll want to select durable frames that stay in place during daily activities.


When considering how to select frames for your lifestyle, one of the most important things is to make sure the frames fit at the bridge of your nose. This will allow your glasses to stay put better. If you exercise often, comfortable, sturdy frames are a must. If you want to look the part at an important business meeting, you can choose stylish frames with a variety of angles. If you need sunglasses for the beach, go for soft, colorful frames that will complement your relaxed vibe.


Step #4Flaunt your personality.

Frames are the perfect way to show off who you are and your personality. In the process of learning how to select your frames, you cannot forget to choose those that show off your personal style. You can find the perfect shapes, colors, or patterns, but those qualities mean very little if you aren’t comfortable.

young adults hanging out

Knowing how to select frames for professional use is also important. It’s necessary to opt for frames that emphasize who you are while also remaining appropriate in the workplace. For instance, you may have a pair of colorful glasses for weekend use and then have comfortable, functional glasses for the work week. But no matter which style you choose, make sure you feel confident and are happy with your choices.


As always, our Technicians are here to give you another opinion if you want it!

Reasons to Avoid Buying Glasses Online


cheap man broken glasses 330×220@2xHave you considered purchasing cheap glasses online? Or maybe you’ve been tempted to buy cheap sunglasses at a mall kiosk…or cheap reading glasses at a discount store?

After all, why should you pay hundreds of dollars for prescription eyeglasses when cheap glasses look every bit as good, right?

As much as we all want to avoid spending hard-earned money unwisely, deals that seem too good to be true when buying glasses are no different than deals that sound too good to be true when buying anything else — you may save money up front, but the product often doesn’t live up to your expectations.

And when it comes to eyewear, some cheap glasses can actually cause harm to your eyes that you’re not even aware of.

Being a wise eyewear consumer requires a little due diligence to understand factors that affect the quality and value of eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Here are 9 things to be aware of if you’re considering cheap eyeglasses or sunglasses:

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

Online retailers that sell cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses often say they can offer low prices because they don’t have the same expenses associated with a “brick-and-mortar” store, such as the high rent paid in retail shopping areas.

But what they often don’t tell you is their lower prices come with a hidden cost — you no longer get the personalized attention and fitting expertise of a qualified optician. That’s a huge part of the value equation.

Instead, you’re on your own to select a frame and lenses for your cheap glasses and hope for the best.

2. Beware of claims of “same top quality.”

Sellers of cheap eyeglasses and cheap sunglasses are quick to claim they are providing glasses of the “same top quality” as eyewear you purchase from your local eye care professional.

But how do they determine that?

The fact is, there are significant differences in the scratch resistance of different lenses and lens coatings, different levels of optical performance among different lens materials and brands, and different levels of comfort and durability among different frames — even among frames with the same brand name.

Also, many online retailers who sell cheap prescription glasses fabricate the lenses in their own optical labs rather than using a wholesale optical laboratory that specializes in providing this service to eye care professionals. And while this might help you get your cheap glasses quicker than eyewear purchased in an optical store, in some cases quality of the finished product may suffer.

3. A bigger selection often isn’t a better selection — it’s just more confusing.

Online retailers of cheap glasses point out that optical stores cannot match their vast virtual inventory of frames. This may be true. But how many of those hundreds or thousands of frames are a good fit for your head and face shape? And who will help you choose?

4. Virtual and home try-ons can’t insure satisfaction.

If you’re buying cheap glasses online, you often will have access to a “virtual try-on” feature — where you upload a forward-facing, closeup photo of yourself and you can then superimpose images of different frames on your face to see how they look.

But while a virtual try-on can give you a rough idea of how you’ll look wearing different frames, it can’t tell you anything about how the frames will feel. It also can’t demonstrate the detailing and workmanship of the frame.

Also, depending on the quality of the virtual try-on tool, the size of the eyewear might not be accurate — the frames might look larger or smaller than they actually are. And it’s not unusual for the color of the actual frame to look noticeably different than the color shown online.

Even if an online retailer sends you a sample of frames to try on at home before you make your final purchase, you won’t know whether the glasses will be too heavy after the prescription lenses are added…or how thick those lenses will be. This is especially important if you are sensitive to the weight of eyeglasses because you have sinus problems or delicate skin.

All these potential problems can be avoided by being fitted with glasses in person by a skilled optician.

5. Cheap sunglasses can do more harm than good.

Cheap sunglasses sometimes look nearly identical to premium quality sunglasses. They can even seem to provide equal performance in bright sunlight. But they also can be doing more harm than good.

The level of protection sunglasses provide to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays has nothing to do with the color or darkness of the lenses. And it’s impossible for you to feel how well your eyes are being protected from these damaging rays while you’re wearing the sunglasses.

So it’s possible for two different pairs of sunglasses to look (and even feel) the same, but one is providing a much better level of eye protection than the other.

Cheap sunglasses — even those labeled “polarized” and “100% UV protection” — often allow harmful violet (“near-UV”) and blue light to penetrate the eye and potentially cause damage over time.

Your eye care professional can explain which trusted brands of sunglass lenses offer the best protection from harmful rays and the preferred visible light transmittance for your outdoor activities and visual needs.

6. Cheap reading glasses can cause eye strain — or worse.

Cheap reading glasses sold in discount stores can help you see more clearly up close if you’re over age 40 and experiencing the normal age-related loss of focusing called presbyopia.

But it’s easy to choose the wrong power, and the optical quality of cheap reading glasses typically is not as good as a customized pair of glasses for computer use and reading.

Also, cheap reading glasses often provide no protection from high-energy blue light emitted from computer screens and other digital devices.

7. Cheap eyeglass frames can cause skin irritation — or worse.

At first glance, some cheap eyeglass frames may look like more expensive frames. But often, they are made of low-grade materials that can cause skin irritation over time. Cheap plastic frames can get bleached by UV rays and the finish can roughen after a few months of wear. Cheap metal frames often contain nickel alloys that can cause skin irritation; others can discolor your skin.

Also (and more disturbing), cheap eyeglass frames and cheap sunglasses occasionally are recalled and removed from the market because they contain lead paint or other toxic substances.

8. Can you be sure sellers of cheap glasses will be around tomorrow?

Warranties on eyeglasses and sunglasses are only as good as the reliability of the retailer who provides them. Can you really trust an online startup or mall kiosk to honor a warranty on their cheap glasses and sunglasses?

9. Progressive measurements can be inaccurate.

Progressive lenses require precise measurements of your eye in relation to the frame, such as pupillary distance and seg height. This is because there are about 8-10 different steps between your full distance prescription and near prescription – and it is all based off of where your pupil sits in the frame. It is very difficult to take these measurements yourself, and more often than not the online shop converts them incorrectly. Online shops also use cheap quality lens materials which are very difficult to adapt to. They can cause headaches, eye strain, nausea, and dizziness to name a few. The term, “You get what you pay for” is highly accurate when it comes to the quality of glasses, especially with progressive lenses.


So what can you do if you or your family members need glasses and you want the best value possible?

Here are a few tips to help you stretch your budget and get all the benefits of high quality eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses:

  • Take advantage of your vision insurance benefits. Many people fail to use the vision insurance plans (such as VSP) that they are enrolled in as part of their benefits package at work. These plans essentially work like a gift card program — just show your card or provide the last four of your SSN and you get significant discounts on eye care and quality eyewear.
  • Know the terms and conditions of warranties. Premium eyewear can be a better value than cheap glasses if it comes with a warranty against lens scratches and frame materials and workmanship. Warranties are particularly valuable if you work or live in a harsh environment and for children’s eyeglasses. Ask our opticians to explain the terms and conditions of warranties included with your eyeglasses and sunglasses.

15 Tips for Summer Eye Health


As you’re getting out the suitcase for an extended summer trip or a quick weekend getaway, we want to take a quick moment to remind you about some quick tips ton keep your eyes happy and healthy during the warmest, sunniest season of the year!

Whether it’s currently summer in your area, or you’re planning out your summer season in months or weeks to come, we’ve got some tips for you to keep your eyes healthy during the warmest, sunniest season of the year.

  1. REMEMBER TO GET YOUR KIDS SUNGLASSES.985e35d569693de9e3ab7cda0c8a72fd

    We don’t always think about giving kids sunglasses and admittedly, it can be difficult to get kids to keep their sunglasses on, especially when they’re young. It’s actually much more important than we may consider on a daily basis. Up to 50% of our lifetime exposure to harmful UV rays happens before age 18, when eyes are more sensitive and still developing. There are many sunglasses for kids, just be sure to follow the suggestions above and try to find a pair that they like as it will improve the chance of them wearing them on their own. If your child cannot wear contacts or you would like them to have full coverage, ask us about fitovers!


    Yes, this blog post is about eye health but we still want our readers to stay as healthy as possible and harmful UV rays can also have a detrimental effect on your skin. In addition to sunglasses, be sure to wear hats or visors, use umbrellas or find shade, and apply your sunscreen when going out into the sun.


    Summer season is a popular time for home improvement projects, but many people forget to protect their eyes from dangerous objects, especially if they don’t usually do such projects. Even just mowing the lawn or clearing gutters can be dangerous for your eyes, as objects can ricochet or unexpectedly fall towards your face. We recommend to always use goggles while working on home or lawn projects this summer.

  4. AVOID SPORT INJURIES.unnamed (1)

    Summer is also high-season for recreational sports, whether it’s a family game or community team. Many sport-related eye injuries are found in sports with small balls, such as badminton, baseball, paintball, and golf. If you wear sunglasses while playing, look for polycarbonate lenses due to their high durability against impact – and of course 100% UVA/UVB protection.


    Chemicals found in pools and common natural irritants like poison ivy, oak, insect bites, lake and river bacteria can be harmful or bothersome to you in general, but especially near your eyes. Be sure to always wear goggles if you will be opening your eyes in a pool, river, or lake. Also, if you find yourself outside near natural irritants, be mindful of keeping your hands clean after touching certain plants, as rubbing allergens into your eyes can cause many problems.


    Summer is full of fun for many people but if you find yourself near fireworks, it is so important to keep your eyes protected. Fireworks have been known to severely injure people’s eyes; while they are beautiful, be aware of your surroundings and cover your eyes or wear protective covering while within range of falling debris or ash. Additionally, summer means schools out for the kids! Many children’s toys, such as dart guns, have been well known to severely injure or take vision when they accidentally hit someone in the eye. If you have kids home more often, they will likely be playing with their toys more so be careful for their eyes – and yours!

  7. KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH SAND IN YOUR EYES.womens beach lifestyle sunglasses

    Speaking of special occasions, summer is a popular time for vacation and visiting the beach. A common issue is finding yourself with sand in your eyes from the wind, people walking by, or shaking out towels. Don’t rub your eyes! It is recommended to either flush out these particles with clean water or natural tears but rubbing your eyes can actually cause the course sand particles to scratch your cornea. To flush out the particles, keep your eyes open and flush with clean water; or blink and allow eyes to flush out sand particles with natural tears. Seek help from an optometrist if you find no relief from flushing your eyes, as rubbing can cause damage to your cornea.


    Camping is also a common summer season activity. There are so many ways that your eye health can be threatened while staying overnight outdoors, camping or otherwise. Natural irritants as mentioned above should be kept in mind and try to keep your hands very clean in case you do rub your eyes. It is also very important to keep your contact lenses clean, as 2 in 5 people don’t wash their hands before handling contacts. Wearing glasses instead of contacts while camping is the safest for hygienic reasons. Lastly be sure to utilize safety while dealing with BBQ pits or campfires. If you do wear prescription glasses, try using them instead of contacts while camping & of course protect your eyes from harmful UV rays with sunglasses.


    Cloud coverage can be very dangerous because people think that since it is not sunny, there’s no need for sunglasses. Unfortunately, this is not true. Remember: clouds don’t block UV rays. Even if clouds are blocking some light, if the sun is up, behind the clouds, there are still UVA and UVB rays coming through. Get in the habit of checking the UV Index of the area you are in before going out. That being said, it is also dangerous to wear dark sunglasses in overcast weather, which is why we recommend lighter tints like yellow or pink for the few cloudy days in summer.

  10. EAT THE RIGHT FOODS.EatingForEyeHealth 2

    That’s right, sun and injury protection aren’t the only way to healthy eyes. There are many foods that promote eye health and can aid in eye disease prevention. You may have heard that carrots do this, but don’t fret if you hate carrots, there are plenty more delicious foods – and they’re healthy for your overall health, too! Spinach and kale are really good for your eye health! You can find a full list by simply googling.


    In addition to a healthy diet, rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, drinking a lot of water will support eye moisture and help fight against dry eyes. Not only is drinking the right amount of water great for eye health, but also skin and overall health as well. Plus, summer heat can be dangerous depending on your location – always stay hydrated!


    Summer is an exciting time for many people – kids are out of school, there are more events and trips to attend. It’s easy to get caught up in everything and it can begin to take a toll on your body and health. Don’t sacrifice sleep and overall health (including eye health!) for summer fun – be sure to get rest so you can enjoy the good times.


    When back-to-school time rolls around, many schools require kids to have an eye exam. A good tip to keep everyone healthy is to schedule your eye exam with your kid’s eye exam, before the back to school rush – the sooner, the better.


    It’s been said that 10 am to 2 pm are peak sunlight times so be sure to use as much sun protection midday or minimize time in direct light at these times.


    During summer months, we tend to stay outside longer in much more intense UV sun rays. Additionally, we spend a lot of this time near water which reflects 10% of UV rays and sand which can reflect up to 15% of UV rays. Due to the heightened exposure to direct sunlight and reflective surfaces in summer, it’s important to not only find shade when possible, but also use sunglasses on a daily basis. You may be thinking about how your prescription glasses sometimes get in the way of protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays; remember glasses are no longer a good excuse to skip sun protection with the availability of quality, stylish fitover sunglasses. When looking for sunglasses, direct or fitover style, there are a few very important factors to take into consideration during the summer months:istockphoto 121370113 612×612

    • UV Protection – It is recommended to find sunglasses with 98-100% UV protection, but it is vital to eye health to know exactly what that means while you’re shopping. There are a few types of UV rays, but the UVA and UVB rays are the ones that can harm your eyes and it should not cost you extra as a consumer to find sunglasses that block both of these rays completely. This means that you should always look for 100% UVA/UVB protection clearly marked on sunglasses you’re buying. Furthermore, a dark lens tint doesn’t necessarily mean more UV protection, always look for an actual sticker or tag on the product that states 100% UVA and UVB protection. This should not cost you more as a consumer since it is the entire purpose of sunglasses, so any brand trying to charge more for UVA/UVB protection should be considered very questionable.
    • Lens tint – Even though lens tint does not effect the actual level of your UV protection, it can still be very important depending on your intended activities. Since different lens colors/tints can help significantly while doing different activities, you should know what to look for when it comes to lens color and tint. While grey is best for intense sun and daily activities, amber is better for fishing, yellow is better for overcast and low-light, and green for depth of field sports like golf or tennis. Check out our complete lens color guide here – just be sure to find 100% UVA/UVB protection when shopping different tints!
    • Wrap around design – Making sure the lenses are the right tint and UV protected are very important but frame design can also really help keep your eyes – and the delicate skin around them – healthy! Looking for wrap around sunglasses with a brow bar will keep sunlight from reaching your eyes from the sides and from above. If you wear glasses and shop for fitover sunglasses, you’ll find that many brands carry fitovers with brow bars.
    • Polarization – While polarization does not have an effect on the medical health of your eyes, using polarized lenses while fishing or in high-glare situations such as swimming and driving is a good idea. Not only can polarized lenses help you avoid traffic accidents or snag that fish you can see in the water, it can also significantly reduce eye strain by cutting glare.

Allergies have you in tears?

Hero Article EnUK Conditions Allergies compressor

Eye Allergies

Red, itchy, watery eyes that are bothered by the same irritants that cause sneezing and a runny nose among seasonal allergy sufferers are very common.

In addition to having symptoms of sneezing, congestion and a runny nose, most of these allergy sufferers also experience itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes and swollen eyelids. In some cases, eye allergies also can play a role in conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other eye infections. If you think you have eye allergies, here are a few things you should know — including helpful tips on how to get relief from your red, itchy, watery eyes.

allergies 330×220

What causes eye allergies? Common allergens include pollen, animal dander and mold. Allergens are normally harmless substances that cause problems for individuals who are predisposed to allergic reactions. The most common airborne allergens that cause eye allergies are pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Eye allergies also can be caused by reactions to certain cosmetics or eye drops, including artificial tears used for treating dry eyes that contain preservatives. Food allergies and allergic reactions to bee stings or other insect bites typically do not affect the eyes as severely as airborne allergens do.

How to Relieve Allergies

To get relief from your eye allergies and itchy, watery eyes, you can take a few approaches: Avoid allergens!
The best approach to controlling your eye allergy symptoms is to do everything you can to limit your exposure to common allergens that you know you are sensitive to. For example, on days when the pollen count is high, stay indoors as much as possible, with the air conditioner running to filter the air. Use high quality furnace filters that can trap common allergens and replace the filters frequently. When you do go outdoors during allergy season, wear wraparound sunglasses to help shield your eyes from pollen, ragweed, etc., and drive with your windows closed.

Remove your contacts: Because the surface of contact lenses can attract and accumulate airborne allergens, consider wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy season. Or consider switching to daily disposable contacts that you discard after a single use to avoid the buildup of allergens and other debris on your lenses. Often, the best choice if allergies are bothering your eyes is to discontinue wearing contacts altogether — at least until all your allergy symptoms are gone. Also, wearing eyeglasses with photochromic lenses can reduce allergy-related sensitivity to light and can help shield your eyes from airborne allergens.

GUEST 50cff75c 89fa 4916 ada4 5b6869216c44Use eye drops: Because eye allergies are so common, there are many brands of non-prescription eye drops available that are formulated to relieve itchiness, redness and watery eyes caused by allergies. If your eye allergy symptoms are relatively mild, non-prescription eye drops for allergy relief may work very well for you and may be less expensive than prescription eye drops or other medication. Ask your eye doctor to recommend a brand to try.

Ask about prescription medications: If your allergy symptoms are relatively severe or over-the-counter eye drops are ineffective at providing relief, you may need your eye doctor to prescribe a stronger medication. Prescription eye drops and oral medications used to relieve eye allergies include: Antihistamines! Part of the body’s natural allergic response is the release of histamine, a substance that dilates blood vessels and making the walls of blood vessels abnormally permeable. Symptoms caused by histamine include a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Antihistamines reduce allergic reactions by blocking the attachment of histamine to cells in the body that produce an allergic response.900

Decongestants: Decongestants help shrink swollen nasal passages for easier breathing. They also reduce the size of blood vessels on the white (sclera) of the eye to relieve red eyes. Common decongestants include phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine. Combination drugs are available that contain both an antihistamine and a decongestant.

Mast cell stabilizers: These medications cause changes in histamine-containing cells located in tissues throughout the body, including the conjunctiva of the eye and eyelids that prevent them from releasing of histamine and related mediators of allergic reactions. Because it may take several weeks for the full effects of mast cell stabilizers to take effect, these medications are best used before allergy season starts as a method to prevent or reduce the severity of future allergic reactions (rather than to treat acute allergic symptoms that already exist).

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Also called NSAIDs, these eye drops can be prescribed to decrease swelling, inflammation and other symptoms associated with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (also called hay fever).

Steroids: Corticosteroid eye drops are sometimes prescribed to provide relief from acute eye allergy symptoms. But potential side effects of long-term use of these medications include high eye pressure, glaucoma and cataracts, so they typically are prescribed for short-term use only.

Inquire about immunotherapy: If none of the above measures are effective, ask your doctor about immunotherapy. This is a treatment where an allergy specialist injects you with small amounts of allergens to help you gradually build up immunity and thereby decrease allergic reactions.


Eye allergies and contact lenseswoman allergies 330×220

Red, itchy, watery eyes are the distinctive signs and symptoms of allergies. Contact lens discomfort is a common complaint during allergy season, leading some wearers to question whether they are becoming allergic to contact lenses. The issue of being allergic to contacts also comes up from time to time when a person starts wearing silicone hydrogel contact lenses after successfully wearing standard soft (hydrogel) contact lenses and experiences allergy-like symptoms. Studies have shown that the culprit behind eye allergies associated with contact lens wear is not an allergic reaction to the contact lens itself, but to substances that accumulate on the surface of the lenses. In the case of switching from regular soft contacts to silicone hydrogel lenses, the surface and chemical characteristics of the lens material may attract lens deposits more readily than the previous lens material, causing discomfort.

Visit an eye doctor
Many eye doctors believe the best type of soft contact lenses for people prone to eye allergies are daily disposable lenses that are discarded after a single use, which decreases the buildup of allergens and other debris on the lens surface. Silicone hydrogel often is the preferred lens material for these lenses, because it allows significantly more oxygen to pass through the lens, compared with conventional soft contact lens materials.

The only way to know for sure if you have eye allergies and to get the best treatment advice is to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.