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Can Cataract Surgery Prevent Dementia?

Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure that removes cataracts, the cloudy formations on the eye’s lens that impair vision.

Now, researchers are discovering that vision loss may be linked to a higher rate of dementia and suggest that restoring clear vision (through cataract surgery, for example) may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Is There a Correlation Between Cataracts and Dementia?

More than half of those 80 or older have had at least one cataract. Many people in this age range also have dementia, a decline in cognitive functioning.

But is there a connection between these two seemingly unrelated conditions?

Recent studies suggest that, yes, there could be a link. One 15-year study found that patients with age-related vision problems, including cataracts, had a higher incidence of dementia.

The 2021 study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, followed 12,000 subjects aged 55-73. When compared to patients with healthy vision, cataract patients had an 11% higher incidence of dementia.

Can Cataract Surgery Prevent Dementia?

Can sight-saving cataract surgery reduce your risk of dementia? It certainly looks promising!

A 2022 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that removing cataracts was “significantly associated with a lower risk of dementia development.” In fact, patients who had undergone cataract surgery had a 29% lower rate of dementia.

In addition, MRI scans have shown greater brain activity following cataract surgery.

How Can Vision Loss Cause Dementia?

Scientists studying the link between vision loss and dementia suspect that vision loss negatively impacts the brain. They theorize that the more visual information we receive, the more active our brains are, and brain activity may be able to fend off dementia.

For this reason, by restoring clear vision, cataract surgery may stimulate the brain and prevent cognitive decline.

There could be an emotional and social dimension to cognitive decline as well. People who suffer from significant vision loss often feel isolated. They may feel discouraged by their inability to recognize faces or perform everyday tasks, and may avoid social interactions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, social isolation raises the risk of developing dementia by 50%.

If you have cataracts and you feel your quality of life is affected, schedule an appointment with Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo without delay. We’ll answer your questions about cataract surgery and ensure you receive optimal treatment.

Q&A With Our Optometrist

How is cataract surgery performed?

Cataract surgery is a short 30-40 minute procedure that replaces your cloudy, natural lens with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). First, the eye surgeon makes a hole in the cloudy lens and breaks it into tiny pieces. Next, the eye surgeon places the new clear lens onto the eye. You’ll be conscious throughout the surgery. The surgery is safe, effective and painless.

Is cataract surgery always successful?

Cataract surgery is highly successful, with a 99% success rate. Complications from cataract surgery are very rare.

Most Eye Injuries Can Be Prevented With Protective Eyewear

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What if we told you that 9 out of 10 people treated for eye accidents could have prevented their injury?

Safety experts say that nearly all eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear: safety glasses and goggles that come in both prescription and non-prescription versions.

At Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo, we help patients keep their eyes healthy and safe, and can guide you towards the safety eyewear most suitable for you.

Who Needs Safety Glasses?

Anyone who finds themselves in a potentially hazardous environment should wear properly-fitting safety glasses to keep their eyes safe and healthy.

Common eye hazards include projectiles, chemicals, radiation, debris, sparks, and particles of metal, wood or other materials. Fast-moving balls and hockey pucks are also potential hazards.

From DIY-ers and construction workers to hobbyists, lab technicians and athletes, there’s a wide range of people who can benefit from protective eyewear. Here’s a short list of activities that require safety glasses, whether you do them professionally or for fun:

  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking
  • Glassworking
  • Gardening
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Martial arts
  • Motorcycling
  • Archery
  • Fencing
  • Bicycling

What Type of Safety Glasses Do I Need?

There are several types of safety glasses and each is made for a specific purpose or activity. Wearing the incorrect type of eyewear for your activity can be just as risky as forgoing them altogether.

Some popular choices of safety glasses include:

  • Anti-fog safety glasses
  • Polarized safety glasses
  • Over-your-glasses safety glasses
  • Bifocal safety glasses
  • Laser safety glasses
  • Medical safety glasses
  • Welding goggles
  • Splash goggles
  • Color blind safety glasses

Safety glasses come in many sizes for children and adults, ensuring the most secure and comfortable fit.

Not sure which type of safety glasses you need? No problem — we can help.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

At Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo, we know how precious your vision is, and we’re here to help you preserve it.

Whether it’s a routine eye exam or helping you select the right protective eyewear — your eyes and vision are our top priority.

To learn more about our eye care services or to schedule an appointment, call Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need safety glasses for sports?

  • A:Yes, in many cases. Sports that require protective eyewear include but aren’t limited to shooting/hunting, lacrosse and soccer. Safety glasses are highly recommended for sports like football, baseball, basketball, tennis and racquetball. To learn if your sport or activity requires safety glasses, contact ​​Pierce Family Vision today.

Q: Do I need a second pair of safety glasses?

  • A: Whether it’s safety glasses or regular prescription glasses, having a backup pair is always a good idea in case one pair gets lost or damaged. You also may want to have another pair to switch up your look, or to protect your eyes from different activities. Your gardening safety eyewear wouldn’t be the same as your cycling glasses.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Pierce Family Vision for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


June 27 Is National Sunglasses Day!

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 is National Sunglasses Day, so grab your favorite pair of sunnies and celebrate!

Many people think sunglasses are little more than a fashion accessory or a way to minimize glare while driving.

But the truth is that wearing sunglasses is vital if you want to safeguard your eye health and vision.

Why Sunglasses are Important

The number one reason to wear sunglasses is that they prevent ultraviolet (UV) light from entering your eyes.

UV light has been shown to age every part of the eye, from the delicate outer eye tissue to the tiny structures within the eye itself. Chronic UV exposure raises your risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and corneal damage.

The skin on your eyelids is the thinnest skin of your body, and UV light exposure can further thin eyelid skin, leading to premature aging and the appearance of dark circles and under-eye bags. Additionally, wearing sunglasses can help prevent wrinkles because you’ll squint less in the sunshine. Who knew sunglasses can be a key player in your anti-aging routine?

Moreover, UV light has been shown to slow the cornea’s ability to heal itself, making sunglasses a medical necessity for people who’ve recently had eye surgery like LASIK, or those who frequently wear contacts (overwearing contacts can irritate the cornea).

Finally, sunglasses are a fun way to show the world your personality and accessorize any outfit.

Activities for National Sunglasses Day

Not sure how to celebrate National Sunglasses Day? Here are a few ideas you may enjoy.

Sport your favorite pair of sunglasses during an outdoor activity, whether it’s a barbecue with friends, a concert at a stadium or time spent in the park.

You can also celebrate National Sunglasses Day by gifting a pair of quality sunglasses to a friend, spouse or child!

No matter how you choose to celebrate National Sunglasses Day, we hope you enjoy and keep your eyes protected.

For all matters related to eye health, ​​Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo is here for you. Contact our eye doctor today!

FAQ With Our Optometrist

Should kids wear sunglasses?

Yes, children of all ages should wear sunglasses whenever they’re outdoors. In fact, it’s crucial because a child’s crystalline lens within the eye is much more clear than an adult’s, letting more light through. Contact us to learn more about kids’ eye health or to schedule an eye exam.

Can sunglasses block blue light?

Sunglasses with lenses that have a yellowish tint offer the most amount of blue light protection, from the sun and other sources. If you’re interested in blocking the blue light that’s emitted from your digital devices, speak with us to determine if computer glasses are right for you.

The Importance of Regular [Eye_Exams] for Seniors

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As the famous saying goes, ‘With age comes wisdom.’ Unfortunately, age also comes with a heightened risk of developing sight-threatening eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

Many of these eye conditions show no obvious signs or symptoms in their initial stages, when the chances of maintaining your good vision and preventing vision loss are highest. The best way to catch eye disease early is by having regular eye exams.

So, if you’re over 60, make sure to schedule regular comprehensive eye exams at Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo.

What Can An Eye Exam Tell You?

The purpose of a comprehensive eye exam isn’t just to evaluate your visual clarity (eyesight). During a thorough eye exam your eye doctor will also examine the inner structures of your eyes and look for anything out of the ordinary: from signs of dry eyes and allergies to eye disease and eye cancer.

In addition, an eye exam can often reveal signs of certain health conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

What Is Checked During An Eye Test?

All eye exams involve a series of tests to enable your eye doctor to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and visual clarity. Most eye doctors recommend a dilated eye exam to anyone over the age of 65. Dilating your pupils gives your eye doctor a better view inside the eye. This allows an easier examination of the retina and optic nerve situated in the back of your eye.

Here are some of the tests you may encounter during your senior eye exam:

  • Preliminary tests – evaluate your depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements and pupillary light response
  • Visual acuity – measures how clearly each of your eyes can see both near, intermediate and distant objects
  • Refraction – determines your optimum optical prescription providing clear and sharp vision at all distances
  • Digital retinal imaging – provides a high resolution, colored picture of your retina, optic nerve and the blood vessels in the back of your eye
  • Tonometry (eye pressure test) – assesses the amount of pressure within your eye to rule out glaucoma
  • Slit-lamp exam – offers a magnified view of your inner and outer eye structures, including your tears, eyelids, tear ducts, cornea, pupil, iris, lens and retina
  • Ophthalmoscopy – enables a magnified examination of the back of your eye under bright light to assess your eye health, including cataracts, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and AMD
  • Dilated pupil exam – allows your eye doctor to view your retina and optic nerve

How Often Should Seniors Get An Eye Exam?

Most eye doctors recommend that seniors get an eye exam every year, and more frequently if you have any eye condition, diabetes or a family history of eye disease.

Regular annual eye exams are vital for maintaining your eye health and preserving your vision.

Enjoy your golden years with clear vision and healthy eyes. Contact Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo today to schedule an eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between a vision screening and an eye exam?

  • A: A vision screening is a basic test that generally checks only your visual acuity, such as if you have myopia (nearsightedness). It doesn’t assess eye health or provide an optical prescription for clear vision. A vision screening can be performed by almost anyone — a nurse, a doctor or even an untrained volunteer.An eye exam can only be performed by a qualified and licensed eye doctor. This type of exam is a comprehensive way to detect any vision or eye health problems like dry eyes and allergies, and also looks for early signs of eye disease. Based on the results, your eye doctor can choose the best solution for you and your lifestyle.

Q: Can I drive after a dilated eye exam?

  • A: Pupil dilating eye drops will make your eyes more sensitive to bright light, especially sunlight. You may also experience some blurred vision for a couple of hours. So while wearing sunglasses can help to reduce light sensitivity, driving isn’t recommended after a dilated pupil exam. If you’re having a dilated eye exam, it’s best to arrange for someone to drive you home from your appointment and schedule your workday or errands accordingly.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Pierce Family Vision for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What Are Blue Light Glasses?

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Today’s digital world has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of time people spend in front of digital screens.

While technology offers many advantages, there are also risks associated with excessive screen time. With so many people relying on their digital screens to work, study, stream entertainment, play games and socialize, these risks are nearly impossible to avoid.

Blue light-blocking glasses are designed to combat these issues head-on. At Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo, we’ll help you find your perfect pair for ultimate eye comfort and eye health.

But First, What Exactly Is Blue Light?

Sunlight consists of a rainbow of colors, known as the visible light spectrum, which ranges from red to blue light. The blue light, also called high energy visible (HEV) light, has the shortest wavelength and carries the highest amount of energy.

In appropriate doses, natural blue light exposure can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. It can improve your memory and mood, boost alertness and regulate your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.

However, many people are exposed to more blue light than ever before. In addition to the natural blue light emitted by the sun, all digital screens emit a low level of blue light, which can lead to symptoms of digital eye strain: headaches, eye fatigue, blurry vision, dry eyes and neck pain.

Prolonged blue light exposure has also been linked to insomnia, and scientists are now investigating whether there’s a link between blue light and eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.

What Do Blue Light Glasses Do?

Blue light glasses contain specialized lenses that filter out blue light to reduce the negative effects associated with blue light exposure.

Because blue light has a high frequency energy, the eyes can’t focus as sharply and as easily as the other colors on the light spectrum. The scattered light causes a glare on the screen that impacts the clarity of your vision, leading to eye strain and fatigue.

Blue light glasses contain yellow-tinted lenses to reduce glare, increase contrast and improve visual clarity, so you won’t have to worry about digital eye strain and headaches affecting your productivity or screen time experience.

Blue light glasses are available with or without a prescription and are customized to meet your visual needs and lifestyle.

When Should You Wear Blue Light Glasses?

Whether you spend hours on the computer at work, are writing a research paper for school or just scrolling through social media on your phone, blue light-blocking glasses can make a world of difference.

That’s especially true at night, when blue light exposure can affect your natural sleep cycle and make it harder for you to fall — and stay — asleep.

So before you turn on your screen, pop on a pair of blue light glasses. Your eyes will thank you later.

Think you can benefit from blue light glasses? Call Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo today and we’ll help you find the perfect pair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there blue light glasses for kids?

  • A: Yes! Nowadays, children and teens are exposed to digital screens more than ever. Wearing blue light glasses can protect them from digital eye strain and may even help them fall asleep easier at night and sleep more soundly. That’s why many eye doctors recommend that kids wear blue light-blocking glasses any time they use a digital device.

Q: How long before bed should you avoid blue light?

  • A: Blue light exposure before bedtime can delay the production of melatonin — the sleep hormone stimulated by darkness — signaling to your brain that it’s still daytime.So try to put your digital device away 2 to 3 hours before you plan to go to bed. This will give your body a chance to produce enough melatonin to help your body relax and fall asleep.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Pierce Family Vision for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Could Working From Home Be Hurting Your Vision?

Working at home is a great way to ditch your commute and enjoy more flexible hours, but there can be an unexpected consequence—digital eye strain. If you’re like many workers, you probably spend most of your day on a computer or other digital device, and likely experience the headache, blurred vision, sore eyes or achy back so common with digital (computer) eye strain.

In contrast to being in the office, where workers take coffee breaks and socialize, working solo at home often translates into spending more time on the computer without breaks, and often beyond the typical 9 to 5 schedule. This can increase the likelihood of developing digital eye strain.

What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also called computer vision syndrome (CVS), affects an estimated 70% of adults, especially those between the ages of 18 and 34.The eye strain results from extended hours focusing on a computer screen, and may be worsened by hours of exposure to blue light, high-energy visible light emitted by digital screens.

Blue light can cause short-term eye strain and discomfort, and scientists are researching whether it could also be linked to serious eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Moreover, staring at a screen, or even a printed book, causes people to blink up to 66% less often. Blinking is essential as it hydrates your eyes and stimulates the release of oil from the tiny glands in your eyelids. This oil also prevents tears from evaporating too quickly, thus drying out the eyes. Dry eyes can cause blurry vision, which further exacerbates eye strain.

What Are the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain?

The following are common symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye soreness
  • Headaches Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain

How Can I Prevent Digital Eye Strain?

No need to ditch your job in order to avoid eye strain. There are other, more practical, ways to lessen the negative impact of screen time on our eyes. Below are some helpful tips.

Take Breaks

Even if you aren’t at the office and may not have co-workers to hang out with at the coffee machine or water cooler, make sure to take frequent breaks that don’t require screen time. Perhaps take a walk or reward yourself with a short nap. These breaks not only give your eyes a rest, but can rest your mind for a few minutes so you can work more efficiently.

Consider adopting the 20/20/20 habit. For every 20 minutes you spend in front of a screen, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This will prevent you from overstraining your eyes and will encourage you to blink more, providing your eyes with much-needed hydration.

Adjust Screen Brightness

Bright screens can place a significant burden on your eyes. Simply adjusting your screen’s brightness can help rest your eyes.

See Your Eye Doctor

If you spend prolonged periods in front of the screen, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor to discuss whether you would benefit from lubricating eye drops or a pair of computer glasses. These computer glasses (or blue light glasses) allow your eyes to relax and make you feel as if you’re focusing on faraway objects. They also reduce glare and filter out blue light.

Whether you’re suffering from any of the symptoms related to digital eye strain or simply want to prevent it, we invite you to book an appointment with Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo. With the right eye care and work habits, you should be able to successfully and quickly reduce and prevent eye strain.

Q&A With Our Optometrist

How long does it take to recover from computer eye strain?

If you don’t have an underlying eye condition, symptoms of digital eye strain can sometimes disappear within a few hours or days. But if you have recurrent eye strain, speak with your eye doctor, as the right eye drops or computer glasses could improve your visual comfort and quality of life.

Can digital eye strain affect my work productivity?

You may think spending hours in front of a computer screen will improve your productivity, when in reality, it may have the opposite effect. According to a study at the University of Alabama/Birmingham School of Optometry, even minor vision problems, such as eye strain, disrupt worker productivity by at least 20%.

So make sure to take steps to control lighting and glare on the device screen and establish proper working distances and posture for screen viewing. To learn more and to alleviate or prevent eye strain, contact Pierce Family Vision today.

When Buying Reading Glasses — Does Price Matter?

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Have you been told that you need reading glasses? If so, welcome to the club! Most people in their 40’s begin to notice their near vision declining, especially while reading and using computer screens and mobile phones.

Age-related farsightedness is a natural—if frustrating—part of the aging process. As you get older, your eyes begin to lose their ability to focus on near objects, a condition called presbyopia. Although presbyopia typically worsens over time, it’s not something to be too concerned about. Your eyes just need a little extra support. And that’s where reading glasses come in.

Are Prescription Reading Glasses Better Than OTC Readers?

Prescription reading glasses are customized to your visual needs, while over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses are made to be “one size fits all.”’ OTC glasses don’t accurately correct your vision if one of your eyes is more farsighted than the other. OTC readers also don’t correct for any amount of astigmatism, which can result in headaches and eye strain. So at the end of the day, prescription readers are generally the recommended choice.

However, OTC readers can be helpful if you’ll only be wearing them very briefly, for reading labels at the supermarket or for other quick near-vision tasks.

But if you spend a significant amount of time each day reading written reports, working on a computer or scrolling through your phone, prescription reading glasses are the way to go.

Here are some important points to consider:

1. Your Optical Prescription Should Be Precise

Eyeglasses prescribed by your optometrist are personalized to your exact optical prescription, while pre-made OTC reading glasses contain the same prescription in each lens and don’t correct for any amount of astigmatism or other eye condition.

2. The Distance Between Your Eyes Matters

Reading glasses purchased from your eye doctor will take your pupillary distance (PD), the exact distance between your eyes, into account. This ensures that the center of each eyeglass lens is in line with each of your pupils, allowing the lens to accurately redirect light to correct your blurry vision.

Since OTC reading glasses don’t take this measure into account, long periods of reading can lead to eye strain and headaches. Curling up with a good book before bedtime while wearing OTC readers may not seem so appealing anymore.

3. Quality Is Everything

High-quality lenses are checked for distortions to ensure they meet the highest manufacturing standards before they’re dispensed. So, with prescription readers you won’t have to worry about getting dizzy or feeling off balance while reading. That’s not true of OTC readers.

Another benefit of prescription reading glasses: you choose the shape, size and quality of the frames. OTC eyeglasses are made with lower-quality materials, making them less durable and more prone to breakage or losing their shape.

4. Prescribed Reading Glasses Encourage Regular Eye Exams

If you order reading glasses from your eye doctor, you’ll be more likely to schedule regular eye exams, even if you don’t notice any changes in your vision. This is important, because many eye conditions don’t have any obvious symptoms that signal the onset of a serious eye condition. Regular eye exams are the best way to maintain good eye health and detect eye conditions early, before any vision loss has occurred.

Since OTC readers are available in varying strengths, if your vision isn’t as sharp as it used to be you may be tempted to just pick up a new pair with a stronger prescription. But without an eye exam you’re putting your eye health at risk.

When it comes to your vision, we’re here for you. Contact Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo to check out our large selection of reading glasses and other eyewear, or to discuss any concerns you may have about your prescription.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are reading glasses the same as computer glasses?

  • A: No, they are two different types of glasses.Reading glasses are generally prescribed for people with presbyopia, an age-related condition that causes near objects to appear blurry. Reading glasses from your eye doctor contain an optical prescription specific to your visual needs to give you clear vision for reading.
  • Computer glasses may be recommended if you spend many hours each day in front of a computer screen. These glasses help to reduce eye strain by slightly adjusting your focus so your eyes feel like they’re looking at something farther away. The lenses are also tinted to eliminate glare and filter out blue light radiation.

Q: What’s the difference between presbyopia and hyperopia?

  • A: Presbyopia and hyperopia are both refractive errors that affect near vision clarity, but they’re two very different vision conditions.
    Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) causes the lens of the eye to stiffen, making it less able to focus on nearby objects, Presbyopia usually starts around the age of 40-45.
    Hyperopia (farsightedness that isn’t related to aging) occurs when light is unable to accurately focus onto the retina at the back of the eye due to the length of the eye or curvature of the cornea. Hyperopia can occur at any age and can cause lazy eye or eye turns if not detected in children.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasse. Visit Pierce Family Vision for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Here’s How To Choose The Perfect Pair Of Glasses!

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Nowadays, there are so many choices for eyeglass frames, it can make your head spin. Of course, these endless options also come with benefits: there are frames to suit every face, style and fashion trend.

Having all these choices is exciting, but can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

In order to pick the perfect pair, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the different materials, features and styles out there, so you can make an informed decision.

Try to keep in mind that although you may be looking for that ‘wow’ factor, comfort, durability and quality are key. After all, you’ll likely be wearing your new specs for a good part of your day.

Here are 5 tips to help you find the glasses that most suit you and your lifestyle:

1. Know Your Material Options

Eyeglass frames come in a variety of materials. Your winning pair can be made from metal, plastic or even wood.

Metal

Metal frames can be found in a wide range of styles and are renowned for their strength and durability. But not all metal frames are the same. There’s a range of metals used for eyeglass frames, each with their own advantages:

  • Titanium: Hypoallergenic, strong, durable, lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
  • Beryllium: Strong, lightweight, flexible, corrosion-resistant and less expensive than titanium.
  • Steel: Strong, lightweight (but heavier than titanium), corrosion-resistant and less expensive than most other metal frames.
  • Monel: Flexible and corrosion-resistant, but contains a combination of metals — so not a first choice if you’re hypersensitive to any type of metal.
  • Aluminum: Flexible, strong, corrosion-resistant, but typically more expensive than other metal frames.
  • Flexon: Very flexible, lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant.

Plastic

Plastic frames are available in a dizzying variety of shapes, styles and colors. They offer a bolder look than metal frames and are often less expensive as well. But plastic frames don’t offer the same degree of durability that metal frames do, so if you’re looking for longer-lasting frames, this is something to consider before making your purchase.

Wood

Wooden frames aren’t only trendy; they’re also very lightweight and comfortable. Wooden frames are made of pure, natural wood and are stained using plant-based treatments — making them an eco-friendly option. They’re also a great choice if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic frame.

2. Understand that Size Does Matter

Eyeglass frames come in so many different sizes. You may want to opt for a smaller frame for reading glasses, but for all day-wear consider a larger frame that will give you a larger viewing window and a wider peripheral view.

3. Choose Comfort

Bridge Fit

Your eyeglasses should sit comfortably on the bridge of your nose. If they’re too big, you’ll constantly be pushing them up, and if they’re too small, they’ll sit too high or pinch your nose.

Temple Style

The temples of your eyeglasses are what secure your frames to your face. They connect the front of the frames to the back of the ears, and sometimes wrap around the head. Most frame temples range from 120 to 150 mm in length. To check that your glasses fit properly, move your head from side to side and even bend down at the waist (it’s worth it!) to make sure that the frames you choose won’t easily fall off.

4. Consider Flexibility

If you lead an active lifestyle, have young children, or sometimes fall asleep with your glasses on, you may want to consider spring hinges. Spring hinges give your temples greater flexibility, making them less likely to break if they’re grabbed or bent the wrong way.

5. Try Different Styles

Not sure which shape or color suits you best? Try on as many frames as you’d like until you find a style that you love. You can either pick a frame that matches your face shape and hair color or decide to be a bit more daring and go for a more striking look. Your options are endless.

When it comes to your vision, we’re here for you. Contact Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo to check out our large selection of eyewear. We’ll help you find the perfect pair, with the perfect fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are metal frames strong enough for sports?

  • A: While metal frames can withstand a certain amount of wear and tear, they aren’t recommended for sports. If you play sports on a regular basis, protective eyewear is the way to go. Protective eyewear, like sports goggles and wraparound frames, not only contain high-impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, but are also lined with rubber padding to protect your eyes from injury.

Q: Is one pair of eyeglasses enough?

  • A: Depending on your lifestyle and visual needs, one pair of eyeglasses may not suffice.Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if you need a second pair of glasses:
      • Do you lead an active lifestyle? If so, it’s important to have a back-up pair of glasses, just in case.
      • Do you have two different optical prescriptions? Some people prefer two different pairs of glasses over wearing bifocal or multifocal lenses.
      • Do you worry about breaking or losing your glasses and having to scramble to order another pair?
      • Do you want your frames to match your wardrobe? Then you may want to think about purchasing more than one frame.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Pierce Family Vision for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What Exactly is an Eye Chart?

If there’s one aspect of optometry that everyone recognizes, it’s the traditional eye chart, with its rows of big letters on top, which gradually become smaller the farther down you go. This chart is usually known as the Snellen chart.

Yet how much do you really know about this eye chart? Are all eye charts the same? How are these eye charts used? And when were they invented?

Here’s everything you need to know about eye charts and more!

What is an Eye Chart?

An eye chart is one of the tools your eye doctor uses to assess your eyesight. Based on how well you can see various letters on the chart, your optometrist will determine whether you have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) or astigmatism, and will measure the prescription that will give you the clearest, most comfortable vision.

Are All Eye Charts The Same?

There are a number of variations to the standard Snellen eye chart. The one an eye doctor uses depends on the personal needs and abilities of the patient. For example, eye doctors will use charts with pictures or patterns for younger children who may not have learned to read or identify letters and numbers.

There are also certain charts that specifically measure distance vision, while others are better for measuring near vision.

History of the Snellen Eye Chart

The Snellen eye chart was developed by Dutch eye doctor Hermann Snellen in the 1860s. Before this standardized eye chart was developed, each eye doctor had their own chart that they preferred to use.

Having so many different eye charts made it impossible to standardize the vision correction available to patients. Eyeglass makers didn’t receive the defined measurements they needed to accurately design, manufacture and measure the optical prescriptions their patients needed.

For the first time, the Snellen eye chart allowed a person to provide a standardized prescription from any eye care provider they chose to any eyeglass maker, and get the same optical lenses to accurately correct their vision.

How The Snellen Chart Is Used in Eye Exams

The standard Snellen chart displays 11 rows of capital letters, with the first row consisting of a single large letter. The farther down the chart you go, the smaller the letters become.

Your Waterloo eye doctor will ask you to look through a phoropter – an instrument used to test individual lenses on each eye during an eye exam – and look at the Snellen chart placed 20 feet away. Your eye doctor will prescribe the lenses that provide you with the clearest and most comfortable vision.

In many offices, where 20 feet of space may not be available, you’ll be asked to view the chart through a mirror. This provides the same visual experience as if you were standing 20 feet away.

If you have 20/20 vision, it means you can see what an average person can see on an eye chart from a distance of 20 feet. On the other hand, if you have 20/40 vision, it means you can only see clearly from 20 feet away what a person with perfect vision can see clearly from 40 feet away.

If you have 20/200 vision, the legal definition of blindness, this means what a person with perfect vision can see from 200 feet away, you can see from 20 feet away.

Does 20/20 Visual Acuity Mean Perfect Vision?

No. While eye chart tests identify refractive errors, they can’t detect signs of visual skill deficiencies or diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. These are diagnosed using advanced equipment as part of a comprehensive eye exam with your local Waterloo eye doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions are essential to ensuring long-term vision and eye health.

For more information, give us a call at 519-886-4170 or visit us in person at Pierce Family Vision, today!

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

How do you keep your eyes healthy?

You only have one set of eyes – don’t take them for granted!

Make sure to implement the following habits for healthy eyes (and body). These include:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
  • Drinking plenty of water to hydrate your body and eyes
  • Not smoking, and avoiding 2nd-hand smoke
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Maintaining normal BMI with regular exercise
  • Regular visits to your eye doctor as recommended

What health conditions can an eye exam detect?

A comprehensive eye exam can often detect certain underlying diseases that can threaten your sight and eye health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tumors, autoimmune conditions and thyroid disorders. This is why having your eyes checked regularly is key. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome and the higher your quality of life.

Protect Your Eyes This Spring by Adopting These 5 Habits

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Spring is in the air! The warm weather, blossoming flowers and smell of freshly cut grass is a welcome relief for anyone who’s ready to put winter behind them. Walks in the park. Barbecues. Playgrounds full of children.

Despite all the spring excitement, it’s important to know that the change in weather can affect your eyes in more ways than one — from prolonged UV exposure and a heightened risk of eye injuries to dry eyes and allergies.

Here are 5 practical ways to protect your eyes this season:

1. Wear Sunglasses with 100% UV Protection

UV protection isn’t only essential for your skin, but also for your eyes.

Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun’s strong UVA and UVB rays can cause ‘eye sunburn’ (photokeratitis), and UV exposure over months or years can put you at risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases in the future.

Which is why sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory. When shopping for sunglasses, look for the label that says ‘100% UV protection.’ This way, you can enjoy the sun without a second thought for your eyes.

And if you believe sunglasses are only meant for sunny days, think again. The sun’s UV rays are so powerful that they penetrate through the clouds and reflect off of water, snow, ice, concrete and many other surfaces.

So before you head out the door, be sure to grab a pair of shades. For even greater protection, also wear a cap or wide-brimmed hat.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water — especially on a hot day— is important not only for your overall health, but the health of your eyes. If your body becomes dehydrated your eyes will too, which can lead to symptoms of dry eye and other complications.

Many doctors recommend drinking six 8-ounce glasses of water each day, and more if you’re playing sports or spending lots of time in the sun. So keep a bottle of water close by and drink, drink, drink!

3. Hydrate Your Eyes

Sometimes, drinking water isn’t enough to keep dry eye symptoms at bay.

If your eyes are dry, irritated, itchy or bloodshot, you may have dry eye syndrome. Dry air and wind, air-conditioning and heating systems, certain medications and medical conditions can all cause dry eyes.

Call Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo to schedule a dry eye assessment and learn about your treatment options.

4. Wear Protective Eyewear

The beautiful spring weather calls for outdoor sports, bonfires, barbeques — and in some places, fireworks. Although these activities may be fun, they also pose a risk to your eye health and vision.

To protect your eyes from injury and exposure to extreme heat and smoke, make sure to wear protective eyewear like sports goggles or specialized glasses with polycarbonate lenses.

Most eye injuries can be prevented with the right kind of eye protection.

5. Seek Allergy Relief

Does the mere thought of springtime make your eyes tear and your nose run? You’re not alone. Seasonal allergies are common, and can be frustrating, especially when you’ve been looking forward to spending more time outdoors.

If you suffer from eye allergies, even a morning jog around the block can have you rubbing your eyes for the rest of the day.

Fortunately, there are ways to effectively treat eye allergies and make irritated, itchy eyes a thing of the past.

Contact Pierce Family Vision in Waterloo to learn about the different dry eye and allergy treatments we offer, or to choose eyewear that protects your eyes from sun exposure and injury. We’re here to help you protect your eyes this spring and always.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Dry Eye syndrome?

A: Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or there is insufficient oil in your tears.

Some of the most common causes of DES include:

  • Environmental factors – living in a dry, dusty or windy climate
  • Hormonal changes – especially during pregnancy and menopause
  • Certain medications – antihistamines, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, among others
  • Eyelid conditions – like meibomian gland dysfunction and blepharitis
  • Post-LASIK surgery

Symptoms can be mild or severe and cause your eyes to feel dry, sore, itchy, and watery. Treatment for DES varies, depending on the underlying cause, but can range anywhere from medicated eye drops and ointments to in-office procedures.

Q: How are eye allergies treated?

A: The most effective way to treat your eye allergies is to first find out what’s causing them.

Eye allergies can be triggered by:

  • Airborne substances found in nature such as pollen from flowers, grass and trees
  • Indoor allergens such as pet dander, dust and mold
  • Irritants such as cosmetics, chemicals, cigarette smoke and perfume

To alleviate your symptoms, your eye doctor may recommend OTC lubricating eye drops, medicated eye drops that replace the oil in your tears, or eye drops (or oral medications) that contain an antihistamine.

If these eye drops don’t provide enough relief, your eye doctor can discuss a range of in-office treatments or prescribe a stronger medication to provide long-lasting relief for your allergic eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Pierce Family Vision for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.