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You’re Never Too Old to Try Contacts!

Are you one of those people who tried contacts in the past, but had no luck? Perhaps you found them dry and uncomfortable, or your allergies made them impossible to wear?  Maybe you were unable to see as clearly compared to your glasses, or you never needed glasses but now you’re struggling to see up close?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time for you to try contacts again!

Advances in Contact Lenses

Over the last decade, contact lens technology has continued to make significant improvements. Do not let your age, prescription, or any previous experiences keep you from giving them another try.

The most common reason for discontinuing contact lenses is due to discomfort, especially at the end of the day. Other common reasons are poor distance vision, or the inability to see both near and far for those over 40 years of age. With the latest contact lens technology, almost all end-of-day discomfort can be eliminated as can the difficulty achieving acceptable vision at all distances.

Early generation soft lenses were thick and known to become dry by the end of the day. Soft lenses today are much thinner, lighter, and more comfortable than the contacts 10 years, 5 years, and even 1-2 years ago.

Wearing contact lenses over a period of days or even weeks causes them to absorb natural oils, mucus, and proteins from our tear film. When these substances accumulate, they can cause contact lenses to dry out faster, resulting in irritation. Today there are many different materials such as silicone hydrogels, water gradient lenses, and other innovations that are designed to reduce drying and enhance the overall comfort.

Disposable Contacts

Are you still having issues with weekly or monthly contacts? Try switching to daily disposable soft contacts! Daily disposables are worn for just one day and then thrown away. Using new, fresh lenses each day avoids the potential problem of debris build-up, which is often the cause of discomfort and blurred vision. In fact, daily disposable lenses may help relieve dry eyes for some users.

Commonly, many people do not close their eyelids completely while blinking, exposing their eyes to air which leads to dehydration. When fitted correctly with the appropriate material, contacts can help seal in moisture to help avoid this issue. The new water gradient design lines both sides of the contact lenses with a thin film of water that keeps the eye moist. The comfort is truly remarkable allowing our doctors to use this lens type for not only vision correction, but for the potential treatment of dry eye as well.

What if I need glasses to see up close while wearing contacts?

Adults over the age of 40 typically have three options when it comes to wearing contact lenses for clear vision. One option is to wear contact lenses for distance vision and then use reading glasses in addition to contact lenses to achieve an acceptable near vision. Second, multifocal contact lenses are designed to allow you to see at both near and far distances and if needed can include an astigmatism correction. Monovision, on the other hand, is the third option which uses a fitting technique fitting one eye with a lens for optimal close-up vision, while the other eye is fitted with a lens for optimal distance vision.

More Information

Need help deciding which option is best for you, or want to schedule a fitting appointment? Give our team a call today at !

Eye Allergies, Or…?

Hey, allergy season. Welcome back to the time of year when everyone blames almost every distress on allergies! Let us help set the record straight though, since certain symptoms are easily assumed as a seasonal allergic reaction when they can actually be a result of something worth looking into further.

Eye Allergies

But okay, we’ll give eye allergies a little bit of attention since they can be the reason for red, itchy, swollen, sensitive, burning, and overall irritated eyes. First and foremost, don’t forget, it’s not just the pollen. There are several things you can be allergic to from trees to animals to new perfumes, even new contact lenses, believe it or not.

The reason behind the reactions you experience is the release of histamines. Histamines are a chemical that causes all the swelling, tears, et cetera, in an attempt to release allergens and help defend your eyes.

While antihistamine pills and eye drops help calm allergic reactions, it’s suggested that over-the-counters aren’t used for more than a couple of days. Ask us about prescribed eye drops that can be used on a more fluid schedule and can healthily harmonize with any existing eye issues such as glaucoma.

Now that we’ve covered eye allergies, let’s talk about other possible culprits.

Eye Allergies or Eye Infections?

girl with irritated dry red eye or allergy female

The reactions might seem as similar as identical twins in the beginning. But the causes are completely unrelated. Eye allergies are caused by allergens and eye infections are caused by substances like bacteria, parasites, and viruses. If they are not appropriately addressed, symptoms can mutate from a mild itch to more intense pain, light sensitivity and thick, slimy discharge.

Another important thing to know about infections vs allergies: infections can spread to others and allergies cannot. Proper hygiene and following ODs guidance are crucial to healing your own eyes and protecting the eyes of others.

Eye Allergies or Dry Eye?

One oddity of dry eye syndrome is that it can lead to watery eyes. This reflex tearing helps to confuse dry eye syndrome and eye allergies. There are so many varied factors that can lead to dry eye. Factors that can develop at any time. One way to help differentiate the two is maintaining awareness of other symptoms that are more prone to dry eye, such as:

  • Heavy eyelids
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye pain that feels different from allergic irritation

Eye Allergies or Adverse Medicinal Reactions?

Some medications can cause severe eye problems, but the puzzling part is they often don’t kick in until after years of use. This is one of the several reasons why it is important to discuss all side effects with your doctors and to share your use of all medications with your trusted optometrist.

Medications that can lead to eye issues fall in every arena. The most common negative results are dry eye, light sensitivity, and in more serious cases, optic nerve damage and loss of visual acuity. If these reactions begin to take place during the months that are often considered “allergy season”, it may be easy to relate them with allergy responses.

Eye allergies usually don’t come on their own. They’re often accompanied by sneezing, a scratchy throat, and a stuffy nose. The best way to confirm the cause? A checkup! Request an appointment on our website with details of what eye irritations you’re looking to calm. Our team at is here to help!

When the Whites of Your Eyes Just… Aren’t Quite White

White eyes have just about the same cosmetic priority as white teeth or unblemished skin. In fact, several surveys reveal that about 30% of people initially notice eyes when they first meet someone. While you can be a generally healthy human with stained teeth and imperfect skin, your eyes can reveal a lot about you… including your health.

First, allow us to introduce you to the sclera. The sclera is simply the medical term for “the white of the eye”. And it comes with high importance.

The sclera is four coats of protection that wrap around most of the eyeball, from the front of the beautiful colored part of the eye- the iris, to the back with sensitive optic nerves. This eye armor is no more than one millimeter thick, which amounts to the thickness of about 10 sheets of paper, layered on top of one another!

The layers of protective armor that give your eye its white color and the sclera its overall strength include randomly patterned collagen fibers and tissues called the episclera, the stroma, the lamina fusca, and the endothelium.

Typically, the entire sclera, not just one layer, changes color or accumulates spots.

Here are 4 hues to keep a lookout for along with a few reasons why:

  1. Yellow: A yellow tone brings along with it a couple of main suspicions, jaundice and “surfer’s eye”.A buildup of red blood cells that are normally filtered out by the liver can have several different causes but can trigger jaundice which often includes a yellowing of the eyes and skin. Surfer’s eye should really be given the nickname of “Outdoor A Lot Eye” as it is a sign of untreated UV damage from the sun combined with high winds or areas filled with dust.
  2. Blue: A tint of blue/gray might not be easy to detect by looking in a mirror, and often these tints are unavoidable because of long-term use of important medications.Tints of blue are still important to observe with help from your OD to consider or dismiss certain health conditions like genetic bone disease or iron deficiency.
  3. Red: Chances are we’ve all experienced eyes with a shade of red, whether it was thanks to allergies or exhaustion or any other typical culprit.
    However, it is still important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible since a red eye can also signal an infection or a broken blood vessel, especially if accompanied by discharge, pain, or blurred vision.
  4. Closeup of an eye of a black manBrown: Brown spots are on both ends of the spectrum. They range from completely harmless to life-threatening. High levels of melanin, the natural skin pigment which makes skin, hair, and the iris of your eyes a darker color can curate spots outside of the iris and within the sclera which are nothing to worry about.
    However, if a dark spot that resembles a freckle that changes over time develops during or after your 30’s, we suggest you make an appointment. These more serious brown spots are not at all melanin-related and can become cancerous if left untreated.

So, when the whites of your eyes just… aren’t quite white, give us a call at ! Keep note of what is accompanying your sclera color change and alert us about anything such as…

    • Blurred vision
    • Discharge
    • Pain
    • Light sensitivity
    • Swelling or bulging

…and our team at will handle the process to lead your eyes—and your entire self—back to health.

COVID-19 Updates

May 1, 2020

We hope you and your family are well and in good health. Our community has been through a lot since March, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. As we transitioned from limiting our care from urgent and emergent situations in the spring to more comprehensive care, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep our patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Optometric Association (AOA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

* We will ask you to stay in your car and call or text our office when you are parked, we will come out to you.* If there are forms to update, we will bring them out to your car.* Only the scheduled patient will be in the building during the exam, no guest unless you are a parent of a small child or prior arrangements have been made.* We may take your temperature and ask COVID19 screening questions when you arrive at our office.* We will ask that you wear a face mask into the office for the duration of your appointment.* We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when entering our office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.* We will deliver your glasses or contacts and even perform adjustments to your glasses curbside.* You may see that our reception area will no longer offer magazines, coffee bar, children’s toys and so forth, since those items can be difficult to thoroughly disinfect.* Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.* We will be disinfecting our frames using UVC technology, hypochlorous acid, and peroxide between patients, throughout the day.* We will be disinfecting each exam lane, equipment and high touch areas like doorknobs after every patient and throughout the day.* We will do our best to reduce waiting times for you, we appreciate your patience as we continue to keep our practice safe for your visit.

We look forward to seeing you again, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you and our team members safe in our practice. We value your trust and loyalty, and we look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

-your friends at Vancouver Vision Clinic

Need New Frames? Where You Buy Matters

When it comes to buying something as important as glasses or contact lenses, make sure you get them from the right source.

While there are online options available, we’re here to tell you that there are important benefits to ordering from the experts!

We Provide More Options In Style, Fit And Brands

Finding the right frames for you is important to us. That’s why we carry a variety of brands and styles that can satisfy everyone’s unique fashion sense! Our frame collections are crafted with long-lasting materials so you get the premium product you deserve.

Looking good isn’t the only objective when picking out a pair of frames. We also make sure your frames have a completely customized fit for optimum comfort! Our expert optical staff is trained to help assist you in finding frames that fit your face perfectly. We’re happy to assist you in making any adjustments to achieve that perfect fit!

We’ve been helping our patients find frames that suit them for a long time…

We Ensure Prescription Accuracy

Getting an accurate prescription is absolutely essential for your comfort! When fitting you for glasses, one of the important measurements that we take is the PD, or pupillary distance. This measurement helps us determine where to place the center of each lens in your frames to completely customize the optics to your eyes. Determining the correct location for the bifocal, trifocal, or multifocal lens is also very complex and is best done by a trained professional!

The Health Of Your Eyes Is Our Priority

In 2011, the American Optometric Association published a study showing the drawbacks of ordering eyeglasses online. Out of 200 glasses ordered online: Similar issues have been found when buying contact lenses online. In fact, many of these purchases are made without a valid prescription, especially when buying decorative lenses. Whether your contacts are decorative or for vision correction, all contact lenses need to be properly fitted and prescribed by an eye doctor.

  • Only 154 pairs were received
  • 44.8 percent had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues
  • 29 percent had at least one lens fail to meet required prescription
  • 19 percent of adult lenses and 25 percent of children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing

We Care About Our Patients

We understand the importance of finding the perfect frames to suit your unique lifestyle. The looks you choose are an expression of who you are! While it may be tempting to buy online, it’s important not to compromise safety or quality for perceived convenience. When you buy your glasses or contact lenses at our office, you’re guaranteed safe, high-quality products that last!

Thank you for your continued trust and loyalty!

Image by Flickr user Scott Akerman used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Are Your Children’s Toys Eye-Safe?

Did you know that roughly a quarter of a million children are seen in hospital emergency rooms each year due to toy-related injuries?

About half of these injuries are to the head and face, and many affect the eyes. While they may be fun to buy for birthdays and other occasions, certain toys pose a great risk to a child’s vision.

4 Things To Keep In Mind For Eye-Safe Toys

#1: Size

Most things will find a way into your child’s mouth, especially if they are under the age of four. When putting things into their mouths, other parts of the toy may find a way into their eyes by accident. Keep small parts and sharp edges away from younger children. If a must-have toy contains small flying parts, purchase protective eyewear.

#2: Construction

The shape and construction of the toy is very important. Stuffed, plush toys are very eye-safe, whereas action figures may sometimes pose a problem. Here are some guidelines:

  • The toy needs to be constructed properly so that no part will fall or break off during reasonable play. It should also not be able to be manipulated into a smaller size.
  • Avoid toys with rough, jagged, edges.
  • Make sure that long-handled toys (pony stick, broom, mop, etc.) have rounded handles as these are often involved in many eye injuries.
  • Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air, such as slingshots and darts, for children under six. The most common play-related eye injuries are due to projectile toys. After all, you don’t want them to shoot their eye out!

#3: Age-Appropriate

Usually, toy manufacturers provide a recommended age group for when a toy will be most appropriate for a child. For instance, a toy for a young child under three years old should never have any sharp edges or protrusions.

Supervision is prudent if there is more than one child at home. Kids will often play with their older siblings toys and inadvertently hurt themselves.

#4: Developmentally Appropriate

While paying attention to a toy’s recommended age range is important, it’s still just a guideline—and you know your child best. If a four year old is still putting objects into their mouth, they should not have certain kinds of toys. If your child is a little less coordinated, choose their toys wisely.

Sometimes, age ranges on toy labels even defy common sense. A pointy tiny sword, for example, can be labeled as suitable for three year olds when, in reality, for the average toddler it really isn’t appropriate.

We’re Here To Help

When buying your child’s next toy, keep these tips in mind! As always, we care about your family. We want your children to be accident-free during playtime so they can enjoy a long life of clear, healthy vision.

Thank you for trusting us with your family’s lifelong vision care!

mage by Flickr user Eric Merrill used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Women And Vision Loss: What You Need To Know

Everyone sees the world’s beauty from a different perspective. Unfortunately, women stand a far greater risk of developing eye conditions which may prevent them from seeing this beauty at all.

How much greater is a woman’s risk of permanent vision loss? The numbers may surprise you.

Blindness Affects Twice As Many Women As Men

According to a recent study, two thirds of all blindness and visual impairment occurs in women. And even though eye disease is more prevalent in women, 75 percent of visual impairment is preventable with proper education and care.

Dry eye disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma are all diseases which affect women at a higher rate than men. Although there are no cures for these diseases, there are steps which you or the women in your life can take to prevent the risk of disease and maintain clear, healthy vision.

Early Detection Is Key To Prevention

Many eye diseases don’t present noticeable symptoms until they become quite advanced. For the best chance of effective treatment, early detection is key—for both men and women.

Here are a few important steps you can take to protect your vision health: Get A Dilated Eye Exam Every Year

  • Get a dilated eye exam. This can help us get a better look at possible warning signs of conditions which can impair your vision.
  • Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. If you do smoke, take steps now to kick the habit.
  • Identify eye disease in your family’s medical history. An accurate family medical history can help us better detect risk factors for eye disease in you and your immediate family.
  • If you’re an expectant mother, get a dilated eye exam and be aware of possible vision changes during pregnancy.
  • Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors to block UV rays. Increased exposure to the sun can put our eyes at risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, and other serious conditions.
  • Use cosmetics and contact lenses safely and thoughtfully. Makeup can leave deposits on your lenses, affecting your vision and even the comfort of your lenses.

A recent survey found that 1 in 4 women had not received an eye exam in the past two years. Getting a dilated eye exam every year, as recommended, could save your sight! Not only that, routine eye exams can reveal conditions which can affect your whole body health—including diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

We Can Help Protect Your Sight

We are committed to not only ensuring your lifelong vision health, but your whole body health as well. If you have any questions about your risk for eye disease, or if you have questions about the risks of a loved one, come in and see us! We would love to provide you with the information you need to continue to lead a happy and healthy life.

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Image by Flickr user Larry Jacobsen used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Understanding Astigmatism

Astigmatism may be one of the most commonly misunderstood eye conditions. Many believe it’s caused by improper lighting, that it can lead to more serious eye problems, or—something we’ve all likely thought at some point—that it’s called “a stigmatism.”

The Basics Of Astigmatism

So let’s clear the air here: the term “astigmatism” comes from the Greek “a” (without) and “stigma” (point or mark). Astigmatism is caused when the lens, cornea, or both are not completely smooth, and therefore do not perfectly focus light as it enters your eye, leaving you with blurry vision.

Astigmatism is a refractive error. Like other refractive errors, it is usually genetic and develops naturally, often from birth or during childhood. It’s not caused by bad habits and it won’t lead to more severe problems. There’s not a way to prevent it from developing, but there are many options for correcting it.

Different People Experience Different Levels Of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is actually very common. Many of us have some level of astigmatism, but it’s not enough to warrant corrective treatment. Other patients with severe astigmatism may experience…

Trust A Professional To Provide The Best Solution For Your Individual Case

  • Trouble focusing
  • Blurry sight
  • Headaches and eyestrain

There can be many variables involved in astigmatism: the shape and focus of the eye, differences between the two eyes, and, often, additional complications of nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism can range in severity, and call for different treatments in different patients, whether that means eyeglasses, contact lenses, or corrective surgery.

With a comprehensive eye exam, we can check your visual acuity and focus. We can survey the curvature of your cornea and determine the very best treatment option for your eyes, and your lifestyle.

Talk to us about your vision! We’ll keep you seeing your best. Thanks for being a valued part of our practice.

Prevent Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Did you know there are roughly 40,000 sports-related eye injuries every year in the U.S. alone?

Eye protection is important for everyone with an active lifestyle, but especially for young people who play a school sport. In fact, most victims of sports-related eye injuries are children.

Sports-related Eye Injuries Are Preventable

A staggering 90 percent of reported sports-related eye injuries are preventable! Rather than suffering from a painful and possibly detrimental eye injury, choose the right eye protection for the particular sport you play.

Sport-specific eyewear recommendations: Regular Eyeglasses Are Not Enough

  • Basketball: Wrap-around sports goggles or glasses.
  • Football: Both eye and facial guards and a polycarbonate shield attached to the helmet.
  • Soccer: Sports goggles or glasses.
  • Tennis: Lightweight wrap-around sports glasses.
  • Lacrosse: Padded, form-fitting face mask.
  • Baseball/Softball: Helmet with face shield, wrap-around sports goggles or glasses (shatter proof).
  • Hockey: Full-face helmet.
  • Swimming/Diving: Swimming goggles and diving masks.
  • Track and field: Lightweight wrap-around sports goggles.
  • Volleyball: Sports goggles or sunglasses, if outside.

Regular eyeglasses can end up doing more harm than good in a sports-related accident. Glasses made for everyday wear are not built to the same protective standards as safety eyewear and can break upon impact. Excessive contact can shatter lenses and break frames—putting the eyes and face at serious risk of injury.

We Can Help Protect Your Sight

While other injuries—like a broken leg or a bruise—easily heal, sometimes eye injuries cannot. As your lifelong vision partner, we want to help protect your vision so you can reach your peak performance on and off the field.

If you have any questions or you’d like to talk to us further about custom-made eyewear, please contact us!

Thank you for reading our blog and being our valued patient and friend!

Image by Flickr user Steven Pisano used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Eye Exams Help Identify Chronic Health Conditions

In a variety of ways, our eyes are often the truest indicators of how we’re feeling.

A quick glance at someone’s eyes can reveal a lot of information… Their mood, stress level, and whether or not they got enough sleep last night!

But this goes much, much deeper. When your Vision Source® optometrist takes a closer look at your eyes, he or she can detect early warning signs for a host of serious and chronic conditions. Diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases leave telltale markers in our eyes, and vision care professionals are often the first to notice them.

When a routine eye exam leads to early disease detection, it can help patients prevent serious conditions from progressing, and in some cases even save a life.

Eye Exams Can Reveal Common “Silent Killers”

Some of the biggest health concerns we face today are “silent killer” diseases—conditions that progress slowly over time, without easily recognizable symptoms in the early stages. Many recent studies have identified some that are frequently found first by vision care professionals, including: There are many other diseases that can be caught early by a routine eye exam, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Regardless of the condition, the sooner it is detected and diagnosed, the better chance a patient has to reduce its impact.

  • Diabetes: in its early stages, small blood vessels in the eye can swell and leak.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure): blood vessels can narrow, bend, or change color.
  • High cholesterol: fatty deposits in the eyes and plaque in retinal blood vessels are telltale signs.

Take Charge of Your Health With an Eye Exam

While we’re not a substitute for your primary physician, regular visits to our practice are important for maintaining your full, healthy lifestyle. Our mission goes further than just providing glasses and contacts—we want to be your lifelong partners in vision health. Together, we’ll help you establish habits that will not only protect your eyes, but your whole body health.

Thanks for reading our blog! We want each of our patients to know how much we enjoy providing them with the very best, highly personalized vision care.

mage by Flickr user Petras Gagilas used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.