Alamo Optometry Blog

September 18, 2011

How Do I Take Care of My Glasses?

Filed under: Uncategorized — gkblog @ 7:14 pm

How Do I Take Care of My Glasses?

 (As appeared in Alamo Today, September 2011, pg. 32)

            This question is one I get all of the time.  Since a nice pair of glasses is an investment, it is prudent to know and understand how to best take care of your new purchase.  Most of what is to follow is common sense, but some of these simple things can make a difference in the life and condition of your glasses.

            The first thing to extend your frame life is to either have your glasses on your face or in your case.  Most breakage and frame misalignment comes from glasses that are in bags without their case, left on the couch and sat on, etc.  For the most part they are protected well when they are being worn and/or in your case.  The other thing that most people do is stretch their glasses and/or sunglasses by putting them on top of their head.  Since the upper part of your head is wider than the front, that stretching of the frames will eventually lead to a widening of the temples, stress on the hinges, and a loose fit on the face.  This can obviously be fixed at our office, but if possible, it is best to put your glasses in your case when they are not in use.  Lastly, it is highly recommended that you do not leave your glasses in the car for long periods of time.  It is common for people to leave their sunglasses in their car when they go to work.  The intense heat that can build up in the car over several hours can warp the frames (especially plastic), cause damage to the lenses, and cause the lenses to pop out because they no longer fit into the frame.  If you are going to leave your car in the sun for a long time, take your glasses in with you to your office or home.

            Now that you have taken care of the frame, now it is time for the lenses.  The first thing is to not clean the lenses dry.  There are always small particles of dust or dirt that are on the lenses, and when these are not rinsed off, they are rubbed into the lenses and will eventually scratch them.  It is common for people to use their shirt to clean their lenses; this is one of the worst things you can do.  Always clean the lenses with soapy water or the lens spray we hand out at the office.  To dry, do not use wood products such as tissues or paper towels.  We always use cotton towels or microfiber cloths in the office and have found that they tend to work best because they are soft and do not leave lint on the lenses.  To wet the lenses, we advise not to use the three A’s: alcohol, acetone, and ammonia.  Any preparations with these ingredients will degrade the lenses quickly, especially an anti-glare coating.  Even though the coatings we use at the office are excellent, they can still be scratched.  We will redo the lenses for you unconditionally (except for loss) for a 2 year period if they are scratched regardless of reason.  I tell my patients that using these ingredients (especially Windex which contains ammonia) is a good way of getting your lenses redone.  Also, keep in mind that a majority of commercially prepared cleaning cloths contain alcohol.  On occasion, this is fine.  However, consistently using this type of product can degrade the lenses, especially if they have an anti-glare coating.

            The cleaning cloths and cleaning solution that we give out with your glasses are the best things for your eyewear.  If you run out of solution, please bring back the bottle and we will top it off for you.  We also recommend bringing your frames in from time to time for adjustment, alignment, and tightening.  As with most things, if you take good care of your glasses, they will give you a long time of comfortable and clear vision.

School Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — gkblog @ 7:12 pm

School Time and Discounted Student’s Eye Exams

 (As appeared in Alamo Today, August 2011, pg. 29)

Now that we are in August, it is the time as parents where we start turning our attention to back to school for kids of all ages from elementary school to college and graduate school.  Besides stocking up on clothes and school supplies, this usually also includes visits to your child’s pediatrician, dentist, and optometrist.  Since we believe strongly in early detection and treatment, we are offering 20% off a student’s exam and glasses in the month of August.  This cannot be used in conjunction with any insurance benefits.  School these days is difficult enough for our kids so we need to make sure they have the necessary tools and vision to start off the year on the right foot.

            Vision at school requires several tasks to manage to be successful.  This includes sharp distance vision to be able to read the board and/or overhead, good near vision and binocular vision (eye teaming) to be able to read and study for long periods at a time, and depending on the class, the ability to go back and forth from the board or overhead to up close to take notes on paper or computer with ease.  In addition to these visual requirements, the eyes also need to be healthy to be able to sustain these demands.  Conditions such as dry eyes induced from allergies or medications, and the itching and tearing from seasonal allergies can hinder vision and thus needed to be diagnosed and addressed. 

            It is for these reasons that your child’s eyes should be checked by an eye care professional.  School and pediatrician screenings usually only test distance vision and does not address health issues of the eye and does not address near vision, depth perception, and binocular vision.  Many times a child (or adult for that matter) has “good vision” but is still having issues with near work which can include blurry vision, double vision, headaches, and overall difficulty sustaining up-close work for any period of time.  Obviously all reading issues are not caused by vision and/or binocular vision conditions, but that should be the first place you should check out to make sure all is well.

            In addition to school and homework, most children are involved in school and/or recreational sports and extra-curricular activities.  Whether your child is involved in soccer, football, dance, or cheerleading, these all require good vision and ocular health to be able to succeed.  If there is vision correction required, many parents and kids are opting for contact lenses.  Activities are often difficult to fully participate in while wearing glasses, and contact lenses allow for good vision as well as peripheral vision, and you are not hindered by the frame.  Most patients are good candidates for contacts; however, since there is work to learn to adapt to the lenses and to be able to put them on and off, motivation on the part of the child is paramount.  If he or she is not really interested in contacts, I recommend starting the process of training and follow-ups when they are ready to tackle it.  It is also helpful if a family member already wears contacts to be able to help out as needed.  However, it is the child that needs to have the responsibility of keeping their hands clean, cleaning and storing the lenses as needed, and inserting and removing the contacts.

            It is recommended for vision and ocular health changes that patients get an annual eye exam.  The testing we do at the office goes much more in depth and covers more than pediatrician and school screenings.  We hope that if you do not have any vision insurance that you take advantage of our back to school offer.  We are a family-centered practice and we look forward to seeing the entire family in the office soon.

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