In recent years a trend has developed in the eyecare world to consider buying eyeglasses from online stores rather than the traditional method of ordering through your trusted eye care professional. These sites may claim that they offer “not-to-be-beat” prices and convenient to-your-door delivery, but the disadvantages of ordering online are much more significant than any apparent advantage they claim to provide. The truth is that there are many aspects of customer service and accurate filling of prescriptions in which your trusted family optometrist is far superior to any online service. Below are outlined some of the major advantages of purchasing from your trusted eyecare professional.
The Myth of Online Savings
Many online retailers boast of low prices and great deals that you are supposedly unable to get when ordering from your optometrist. The truth is that, most of the time while the price on some online sites initially appear to save you money, they often will cost you more money than if you order from your eye doctor’s office. Many eye doctors maintain special relationships with eyeglasses manufacturers that allow them special deals and savings which they are then able to pass on to their patients. These often take the form of special rebates for patients, which eye doctors are often happy to send in on their patient’s behalf, allowing the doctor to cut costs for their patients at the bottom-line. Online services are often unaware of these rebates or require you to redeem them on your own in order to save money on your eyeglasses.
Personal Relationships and Expertise
To an online store, you are a faceless consumer. To your trusted eye care professional, you are a patient in their care. The aim of the online store is to sell you a product. The aim of your eye doctor is to help you look and see your best, and safeguard your long term eye health and visual comfort. Part of fulfilling this role is maintaining a personal relationship with each and every patient. The same cannot be said about online retailers.
Your eye doctor goes to great lengths not only to measure your exact prescription, but also to take into consideration things such as your face shape, the way your lenses will look and feel with certain frames, and what size and type of frame will be most comfortable and provide you with the best vision.
Your eye doctor will also consider where each type of frame will sit on your face, which influences what part of the lens your eyes will be looking through. This is especially important with bifocals, in which an improper positioning of the lens in front of the eye can make proper viewing through the different vision zones especially difficult or impossible.
A professional, trained and educated eye doctor with whom you have a personal relationship is more likely to fill the prescription correctly the first time, and fix it if there is a mistake, than an online retailer whose training is customer service or sales oriented, and with whom you share no personal connection beyond their desire to sell you their products.
For more information, contact your eye doctor today.
Everybody knows that the leading source of UV radiation is the sun. What many people don’t realize is that the sun is not the only source of UV radiation. It can also come from sources such as welding machines and tanning beds. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that UV radiation can cause you a painful sunburn on your skin, but did you know that UV radiation can be dangerous for your eyes as well? It’s true! Too much UV radiation can give your eyes a kind of “sunburn of the eye,” called photokeratitis, which can cause eyelid twitches, eye pain, and extreme sensitivity to bright light. In severe cases of UV radiation overexposure can also do permanent damage to your central vision, and the more your eyes are exposed to UV rays over time, the greater your chances become of developing serious problems with your eyes later in life, such as age related macular degeneration, cataracts and even cancer.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be implemented to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of overexposure. The American Optometric Association suggests that sunglasses meant for extended outdoor exposure block 99-100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays and 75-90 percent of all visible light. A hat or cap with a wide brim is also a great addition to protect your eyes from light that otherwise might not be blocked by your sunglasses. Wrap around sunglasses and contact lenses with UV protection are also great additions, as traditional sunglasses often let UV radiation around the edges that can still do damage to your eyes. Patients newly out of surgery for cataracts or those taking medicine that make the eyes more sensitive to light should be sure to take these same steps every time they go outside, no matter how long or short their time outside will be.
There are also certain situations in which sunglasses alone are not enough to protect your eyes. Arc welding and tanning beds are sources of direct light which require specialized eyewear to prevent extremely harmful side effects similar to looking directly into the sun. Snowfields, although they do not give off light of their own, do reflect a great deal of light that can also do similar damage to your eyes without appropriate specialized eyewear.
Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.
Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.
The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.
A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.
Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.
Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.