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August is Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month

Child at eye sight test.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has named August as the Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. It’s recommended that you have your baby’s eyes examined early in life, at about six months of age, and then again prior to starting school. Regular eye examinations throughout their school years will help ensure any eye problems are corrected in a timely manner. Diverse examination techniques are used, based upon the age of the child, and their ability to respond. All eye examinations are not created equal, so make sure that your eye care provider is well versed in checking for problems in young children. An ophthalmologist will use a variety of high-tech equipment to assess what the child sees, as well as diagnosing vision irregularities. Eye problems can affect young children’s ability to learn, and some problems become uncorrectable if you wait too long.

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Maui Jim Sunglasses

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! This month and every month, remember to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh, damaging ultra-violet and high-energy rays. Stop in to learn about the differences in sunglasses. We carry beautiful sunglass styles including the protective PolarizedPlus2® sunglasses from Maui Jim.

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New for Spring!

MODO SS18

Stop by next week and you’ll find new designs from MODO Eyewear for your fresh, Spring look! Featured here is the beautiful SS18 model. Truly elegant and outstanding, it features lightweight titanium temples and a form-fitting bridge in gem tones.

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Longer Lashes Coming Soon!

Long lashes

Enhancements Lash Boost™  Eyelash Serum

Dramatically improve the length and appearance of your eyelashes with this clinically-tested serum. In 4-8 weeks you will see your eyelashes appear longer and thicker with this revolutionary product.

Find this new product at the Eye & Laser counter sometime next week.

www.rodanandfields.com/pages/lash-boost

 

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March Sunglass Sale!

March Sunglass Sale

All sunglasses* on sale 20% off during the month of March. Find a new look for your Spring wardrobe! You’ll find some great new looks. Stop in soon for the best selection.

Need prescription sunglasses? All our frames will be 20% off as well when you order them with prescription lenses.

 

* Some restrictions apply, call our office for details.

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Blue Light Series – Part 4 – Supplements, By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

AMD Before After simulation

Last week we gave you an overview of various lenses and screen filters that block blue light from ever reaching your eyes. This week we will focus on supplements designed to protect your eyes from the inside.

THE SOLUTION – Supplements

As mentioned in an earlier post, when light hits your photoreceptors a biochemical reaction occurs and a waste product is formed (free radicals). Normally, your body can get rid of these free radicals on its own, but in cases like Macular Degeneration (AMD) it struggles to keep up. The waste products build up over time and start to affect your vision. If left untreated, you can go blind.

Scientific evidence has shown that Mild AMD can be prevented from progressing to Moderate or Severe AMD by adding Lutein and Zeaxanthin to your diet in the form of a supplement (AREDS 2 formula). If you are a smoker or have quit recently, you will want to take the beta-carotene free version. This will lower your risk of developing lung cancer as a side effect of the supplement.

As it relates to our blue light discussion, your retina is most sensitive blue light, and an increase in blue light absorption is likely to increase your risk for AMD. While there is currently no study suggesting that adding these to your diet now can prevent any signs or symptoms of AMD, adding these supplements certainly won’t hurt your ocular health. Future studies may show that the supplements do in fact perform the way the manufacturers currently claim. Below is a link two such websites:

http://luteinforeveryage.com/eye-skin-brain-health/intro-to-eye-health/blue-light

http://omniactives.com/press-releases/new-study-on-lutemax-2020-supporting-vision-featured-in-experimental-eye-research-journal

To discuss your risk for developing AMD, schedule your yearly Routine Eye Exam. Also, to learn more about blue blocking technology visit our optical.

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Blue Light Series – Part 3 – The Solution, By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

Our last post had some disturbing news about negative consequences of blue light. These next three posts will each discuss a specific way to limit your exposure to blue light.

THE SOLUTION – Lenses and Screen filters

Most of you that wear glasses are already aware of anti-reflective (AR) coatings and their benefit. Another coating to be mindful of is a blue-blocker. These can be added to your glasses or can be available as screen filters/protectors to prevent the blue light from ever reaching your eyes. Every lens manufacturer has their own blue-blocking technology and many are included in the AR coatings. Below is a link to one manufacturer:

http://shamirlens.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=16637&Itemid=548

Other companies make glasses specifically for computers and this digital age. They are mostly for nonprescription glasses, but some of their frames are compatible with your prescription. Below is one such company:

https://gunnar.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr4We8N7u2AIViYePCh3pXg8fEAAYASAAEgIoY_D_BwE

Next are screen filters/protectors, depending on your device this might be an easier option than glasses. If you are someone who has never worn or doesn’t like to wear glasses this could also be more preferable. Of course, you can use both the screens and the glasses for even more comfort. Below are some screens for small and large devices:

https://www.reticare.com/buy/en/

https://retinaguardstore.com/

Additionally, there are settings on your computers and Apps available for all devices to limit the blue light they emit. Below is one tutorial and one list of Apps:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-use-a-blue-light-filter-on-pc-mac/

https://www.lifewire.com/reduce-eye-strain-with-blue-light-filter-apps-4134615

For another compilation of resources follow this link:

https://glarminy.com/2015/07/30/10-blue-light-filters-to-relieve-computer-eye-strain-help-you-sleep-better-etc/

Next time we will discuss supplements that are available to protect your eyes from the inside. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.

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Blue Light Series – Part 2 – The Problem, by Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

In blue light exposure, the two major consequences are the reduction of melatonin and an increase in macular degeneration. Without getting too technical, we will explain these below.

Blue light inhibits the release of melatonin and that can affect your circadian rhythm. When your circadian rhythm is altered, many of the body’s systems can be compromised. The first side effect you may notice would be your sleep patterns. Increased trouble falling asleep and quality of sleep are most noteworthy. Once your sleep is compromised, then a lot of other systems can go off-line. You can become moody or agitated, concentrating becomes difficult, your immune system may be suppressed, cardiovascular functions are diminished, and your metabolic processes won’t function properly.

http://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2017/11/06/latest-blue-light-sleep/

All light is known to increase free radicals as your retina processes light. Every time a photoreceptor (your rods and cones) is struck with a ray of light a biochemical reaction happens. As a result of this reaction, a waste product (the free radical) is made. An increase in free radicals within the retina can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) later in life. Now, your retina is most sensitive to a specific wavelength of light. Of course, this wavelength falls in the blue spectrum of light. So, an increase in blue light will likely lead to an increased risk of developing AMD.

Links for this get pretty technical; search PubMed for “blue light AND retina.” You will find some very interesting articles.

So we gave you some bad news this time, but follow us next time when we discuss solutions to the problems brought on by blue light. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.

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What is Blue Light? By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

Prism and light

Last post, we discussed Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and how proper ergonomics with proper blinking can improve your screen time with electronic devices. Over the next few posts, we will focus on ways to prevent possible damage from the blue light emitted from your electronic devices and LED lights.

What is BLUE LIGHT?

Back to high school physics, light is composed of photons, and those photons travel in waves. White light when separated by a prism or a refractive surface (your eye) can be isolated into different colors (think of the Pink Floyd album cover for The Dark Side of the Moon). Each color has its own specific wavelength.

As we have switched from traditional incandescent light bulbs and old generation TVs to LED lights and LED screens for cell phones, tablets, PCs, etc., the wavelengths of the light emitted has changed from longer wavelengths (reds/yellows) to shorter wavelengths (blues). This change is different from natural light sources (the Sun, fire), and scientists are discovering that there are physiologic consequences.

Follow us next time as we discuss the potential problems blue light has on our bodies and specifically our eyes. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.

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Computer Vision Syndrome, Are You at Risk? by Dr. Clingan, OD

Well done!  You have just survived another holiday season.  You made sure everyone got what they wanted including all those fancy new computers, tablets, phones, video games, TVs, etc…  A common question we face a lot is, how long should I or my family be spending on our electronic devices?  While there are no hard time limits established in the scientific community, there are a few simple daily practices you can utilize to make your viewing experiences safer from ocular complications.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a multi-factorial problem that can lead to many eye problems or exacerbate other eye diseases like dry eye.  Common symptoms after prolonged use of electronic devices include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Which can result from:

  • Poor lighting
  • Glare on a digital screen
  • Improper viewing distances
  • Poor seating posture
  • Uncorrected vision problems
  • A combination of these factors

A few quick tips to alleviate some symptoms are:

  • 20/20/20 Rule
  • Blinking exercises
  • Reduce glare from overhead light or windows
  • Better ergonomics

Also, an updated glasses prescription with an anti-reflective coating is always a great place to start and enhance your viewing.  Please make an appointment today and our eye care specialists will keep your eyes healthy in this digital age.

For further education click on these links and videos below:

https://www.vsp.com/computer-vision-syndrome.html

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wMqzF6_q9s

Low vision accessible article on computer vision syndrome: http://www.samaldesign.net/computer-vision-syndrome-digital-eye-strain-mitigating-damage/ 

Image from AOA.org

30% Off Small Business Monday Sale!

30% off your entire purchase on Monday, November 27th. One day only, in-store only. Some restrictions apply.

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October Inventory Reduction Sale!

Inventory Reduction Sale 2017

Find great styles of eyeglass frames and sunglasses all on sale 20-60% off* through the end of October. We carry SALT Optics (shown here is the Tiffany model), Oakley, Modo, Ronit Furst, Silhouette, Aspire, and Kate Spade, among other great lines. Stop in early for the best selection!

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Countdown to the Great American Eclipse

Sunshine
Countdown to the total eclipse has begun, with nine days to go until the August 21st event. Remember that if you don’t view safely, ocular complications can arise with direct exposure to the damaging sun’s rays. People who view eclipses directly without proper protection have experienced pain, tearing and even permanent eye damage. Sun injury to the eyes may not be immediately evident, and if you experience difficulties following the event, please call our office right away. Nasa has a safe viewing website with detailed information that you can visit here: eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
 
If you’re staying in Flagstaff on the 21st, Lowell Observatory may be a great choice for viewing. They will offer special hours and activities including telescope viewing and a direct link to a live stream of the total eclipse from Madras at 10:19am. The maximum eclipse viewing from Flagstaff will happen at 10:34am. lowell.edu/event/great-american-eclipse/
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July is Ultra-Violet (UV) Light Awareness Month

SALT Optics Elkins Sunglass

Did you know that UV light can damange your eyes in addition to your skin? There are quite a few different problems that can arise from over exposure to UV light. Dr. Danoff explains this quite well in this short video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITFY2SVWc2w

Wearing sunglasses that filter out 100% of both UVA and UVB are recommended. Stop in to see our 2017 collection. The frame featured here is the SALT Optics Elkins modeled by Julia at SALT Optics.

 

 

 

Image credit: Julie Wear Elkins Sunglass by SALT Optics

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June is Cataract Awareness Month!

Robert Mahanti, MD

If you find yourself in a fog and avoiding driving at night, you might have cataracts. Dr. Mahanti talks about cataract surgery in this video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdqzRhV5ARU

May is Healthy Vision Month!

Phoropter

May is Healthy Vision Month! Have you had a comprehensive eye examination recently? Many diseases can be detected early through an eye exam. Make your appointment today! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_xNMRi_9U

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MODO Style for 2017

MODO 2017

Take a peek at the new MODO line for 2017! MODO is a socially responsible company, and donates a frame for every one that they sell.

 

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

OSHA estimates that 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented through the use of proper protective eyewear. It takes just seconds to put on safety eyewear, and this is something you can control in the workplace.

Read the full article to learn more from Industrial Safety & Hygiene News here: http://www.ishn.com/articles/100871-march-is-workplace-eye-wellness-month

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20% Off Sunglass Sale in March

Our annual sunglass SALE will run the entire month of March! Shop early for the best selection. 20% off all prescription and non-prescription sunglasses. Protect your eyes with ultra-violet(UV)-filtering lenses. Find Maui Jim, Oakley, SALT Optics, Vera Bradley and Kate Spade among others in stock. Sale ends March 31, 2017.

40% OFF ALL IN-STOCK SMITH FRAMES & SUNGLASSES

Shop early for the best selection! All in-stock SMITH Optics frames & sunglasses are marked down 40% while they last. Sunglasses make a great gift, so stop in and see our entire line.

 

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Inventory Reduction Sale Through October 2016

All frames and sunglasses are on sale now through the end of October. Find a great selection of Oakley, Maui Jim, Smith, and SALT Optics on sale 20-60% off. Stop in soon for the best selection.

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New Virtual Eyeglass Shop

Visit our new virtual eyeglass shop where you can select one of the models or upload your own image to try on fashionable frames and sunglasses. Find one you love? Buy it online and have it delivered to your door. Need them adjusted later? Stop in to our brick-and-mortar shop for a free cleaning and adjustment.

www.smartspecsoptical.com/shop

 

 

Image credit: Four Faces of Fashion, by Suzi Coleman

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Kale Reduces Risks of Developing Glaucoma

Green Flowering Kale

New research suggests a relationship between eating kale and a reduced risk of developing open-angle glaucoma. A study published by JAMA Ophthalmology found that people who ate around 240mg of nitrates from leafy greens every day were less likely to suffer from open-angle glaucoma by as much as 30%.

 
Image credit: Green Flowering Kale, by Bobbi Jones
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Avoiding driving at night? June is Cataract Awareness month

If you’re finding that you avoid night driving, or if glare is getting particularly annoying, you may be experiencing the development of cataracts. Your natural lenses within the eye become harder and less transparent with age, which is perfectly normal. A simple surgical procedure can be done to remove the aging lens and a replacement, called an intraocular lens or IOL, is implanted in its place.

See your eye care provider for a comprehensive eye exam regularly, which will reveal many different health issues, including cataracts.

Dr. Mahanti has an article that explains your surgical cataract removal options at Angie’s List. You can read the entire article here:

www.angieslist.com/articles/cataract-surgery-understanding-your-options.htm

Image credit: I See You, by George Hodan

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2016 Spring Sunglass sale!

Our sunglass sale runs the entire month of April! If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time for a cool pair of shades, prescription or non, now is your time. All sunglasses will be 20% off. Stop in today for the best selection!

Preview some of our sunglass styles here:  You Need Sunglasses 2016

*Video credit: You Need Sunglasses 2016, by Suzi Coleman

Hugo boss in ultra-light optyl

Meet our most distinguished frame from Hugo Boss–the model 728. Lightly textured and made from Optyl®, this super strong frame is comfortable and classy.

What makes Optyl® so different? This super lightweight material has a memory that will hold your frame in shape. Because it is made from a thermal memory plastic, the finish is completely smooth, unlike Italian acetate, and is 20% lighter in weight.

This material also remains unaltered from exposure to sunlight, and is temperature resistant as well as hypoallergenic.

Stop in to find your perfect frame!

Related link: https://vimeo.com/120043798

*Image credit: Hugo Boss 728, by Suzi Coleman

The secret to ultra-clean eyeglass lenses

If you’re tired of looking through a hazy film that used to be your sparkling, clear eyeglass lenses, you’re not alone. Today’s lenses, though often scratch-coated, are susceptible to minute cleaning scratches that build up over time and obstruct your view.

Rinsing your lenses under very warm tap water prior to cleaning is always best. If you don’t get the dirt off the surface you’ll only rub it in with whatever you choose to clean them with. We love blue Dawn dish detergent as a degreaser, and you should use a tiny bit between your fingers and the lenses, and even on the nose pads and the rest of the frame. If you have a great anti-reflective or mirror coating, you can shake briskly, and most moisture will slide off easily. Use a microfiber cleaning cloth to absorb any remaining liquid. As an aside, your microfiber cloth should be cleaned regularly, either washing by hand with blue Dawn, or with your regular laundry. Avoid using fabric softeners, as it will absorb into the cloth, which you’ll then have to replace. Air drying is recommended for cleaning cloths.

When wearing eyeglasses, body oil will build up on the surfaces. Body oils are slightly acid, and the combination can reduce the life of your lens coatings. If you keep the oils off the surface, your eyewear will last longer. Coatings are also of differing quality, so some of the lens coatings will start to separate sooner than others. We almost exclusively use Good Housekeeping-approved Crizal coatings, which come with a 2-year manufacturer warranty against defects.

We also recommend that you stay away from paper products for cleaning your eyeglasses, including those in packets that are made from wood fiber. Strong chemicals can also spell disaster for today’s lenses, so avoid using products that include ingredients such as ammonia.

We have an ultrasonic eyeglass cleaning machine in our office as well, so if you have stubborn dirt trapped around your nose pads or between the frame and lenses stop in and we will be happy to clean them. Like jewelry cleaners, the machine produces tiny bubbles from sound waves that help remove dirt particles from cracks and crevices.

Image: UltraClean by Suzi Coleman

Suzi Coleman loves finding the best fit for individual customers and has been a licensed optician in the state of Arizona since 1981. Currently practicing in Flagstaff, she is the current Secretary of the Arizona State Board of Dispensing Opticians.

Avoid snow blindness

Overexposure to the sun’s damaging ultra-violet (UV) rays can result in blindness caused by temporary damage to the cornea, which is similar to a sunburn. This condition, also known as photokeratitis, can be caused in regular sunny conditions, not only where it’s snowy. Snow can reflect up to 80% of the damaging light, but other sunny conditions can also damage your corneas. Other light exposure that can cause symptoms include arc welding and tanning booths.

Symptoms include a gritty feeling, tearing, pain and redness, and in some cases a loss of vision. By the time you notice symptoms of this disorder, the damage has already been done.

It’s recommended that you protect yourself in sunny conditions, particularly on the slopes, on the lake, or anywhere you’re exposed to intense light. In high altitudes where the air is thin there is more UV light, so be very cautious to protect sensitive eye tissues by wearing ski goggles, or protective sunglasses.

Children are also at risk, so by all means get those little bambinos some eye protection.

Click here to read more about photokeratitis.

Image credit: Boy Making Snow Angel, by Petr Kratochvil

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Do you have glaucoma? Only half of those who have it, know!

In the U.S. nearly 3 million people more than 40 years old have glaucoma. By the year 2030 the National Eye Institute estimates those numbers to rise more than 50%.

Only have half of those people realize they have this dreaded disease. Glaucoma slowly damages the optic nerve from pressure buildup inside the eye. The damage usually occurs so slowly that people do not realize that it’s happening. Some people can lose up to 40% of their sight, which is then irreversible.

Since Glaucoma is preventable, and the leading cause of blindness, it is recommended that you and your family have a complete eye examination regularly. Early diagnosis can prevent this type of blindness. Those with genetic predisposition include those with Asian, Latino and African-American descent, but all populations have been affected by this silent sight stealer.

Read about the various types of glaucoma on the glaucoma.org website.

Image credit: glaucoma.org

New Smith Designs

For our discerning customers who love the Smith Optics ophthalmic line of metals and handmade acetates, we introduce fresh designs for the season.

Featured here is the blue crystal Maddox, a smart and vibrant addition to our collection. Built for a smaller, more angular face, this rounder shape is the hit of the New Year! If Harry Potter wore glasses as an adult, these would definitely perk up his eyewear wardrobe.

Stop in and view all our new styles!

Image credit: Maddox, by Suzi Coleman

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Gift Certificates – The Perfect Fit!

Looking for the perfect gift? A Smart Specs gift certificate will be a welcomed change from the average gift cards. When the recipient chooses sunglasses from TOMS, the gift keeps on giving with either a donated pair of eyeglasses or an eye service to a needy individual.

Stop by and see our entire collection of sunglasses.

Tis the season!

Image credit: Gifted TOMS, by Suzi Coleman

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November is diabetes awareness month!

Did you know that according to the American Diabetes Association that Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults? Take this free risk test to see how you score.

www.stopdiabetes.com/get-the-facts/risk-test.html

Image credit: StopDiabetes.com

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Danger danger, ultra violet is everywhere!

You already know that ultra-violet light (UV) is responsible for damage to skin and hair, but did you know that excessive UV exposure is also harmful to your eyes?

If you work or play outside for extended periods of time, or live in a high altitude or very sunny climate, you are a prime candidate for serious ultra-violet exposure.

Unlike Hemophagia in the movie, long term UV exposure can contribute to the development of certain types of cataracts, pterygiums, and also retina damage. It can also cause permanent damage to the sensitive tissues around the eye.

So how to avoid this? It’s important to shield your peepers from these harmful rays by using quality lenses. There are UV-absorbing materials and coatings for your regular eyeglass lenses, as well as special sun lenses that will filter out both visible and invisible sunlight.

Stop in or call us to discuss the best solution for your particular eyecare needs.

Read more about this topic on the American Optometric Association’s website.

Image background credit: Ultraviolet Wallpaper from Wall-pix.net

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Possibly Spooky consequences for Halloween Contacts

The Food & Drug Administration wants to educate you on decorative contact lenses. The bottom line is don’t buy from anyone except your trusted eye care provider. So unless your beauty or tobacco shop has a qualified contact lens fitter on premises, back off, because lenses sold in this manner are not legal or safe. Your eyes will thank you.

World Sight Day Challenge – Oct 8, 2015

Millions of people worldwide do not have access to eye care or eyeglasses. Optometry Giving Sight targets these populations and provides needed examinations and eyeglasses. October 8th has been selected as the major fundraising day for 2015. Your donations will go toward exams and eyeglasses as well as training for those who will provide services.

Learn more at: givingsight.org

Back to School Sale!

BackToSchoolSaleDisneyIt’s that time of year again, school supplies and new eyeglasses!

We can appreciate all you go through when school is starting up again. To honor our students and their hardworking parents, we are offering 20% off all eyeglasses for students through the end of September.

Stop in and see the latest fashions for students of all ages. You’ll find fresh styles from Smith Optics, Disney, MODO, SALT Optics, and Kate Spade.

If you are due for a comprehensive eye examination, give our office a call at 928-773-7715 and we will be happy to set that up for you.

Image Credits: Back to School Sale, by Caroline Pilkington, and Disney Cutie, by Debra Floyd

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FlagStaff: Be true to your school

TELC_School_PDA500x500-300x300Show your school spirit, and enter to win $1,000 in school supplies for your favorite school!

The Eye & Laser Center of Flagstaff needs your help in supporting local K-12 schools. Parents and educators are often responsible for stocking classrooms with basic school supplies. Inspired by this selfless giving, the Eye & Laser Center presents the Hometown School Spirit Award.

To vote, visit the Eye & Laser Center‘s Facebook page between August 15th and September 30th, 2015. Nominate your favorite school by writing a brief story explaining why your school should win the $1,000 prize. It’s fun, easy and helps support your local schools. Voting is open to all Flagstaff residents.

In addition, the Eye & Laser Center is offering 15% off Lasik procedures for educators, and 20% off eyeglasses for all students. This promotion ends September 30th.

Image credit: The Eye & Laser Center’s Hometown Spirit School Award

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Green Eyewear by Thomas Trauth

GreenFFAWhen Thomas Trauth designed this line for both men and women, he wanted to be environmentally responsible. These beta-titanium frames leave behind a very small carbon footprint due to a brilliant style of manufacture. You’ll find that the majority of the frames do not require screws, because of the German-designed hinges that incorporate small disks or barrels. The frames are super lightweight, and come in a variety of colors to suit the most fashion-conscious individual. Stop in to see our entire collection!

Related link: http://www.freeformeyewear.com/be_responsible.html

Image credit: Freeform 943 in Marsala, by Suzi Coleman

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July is Dry Eye Disease Awareness Month

Also known as dry eye syndrome, this common disorder affects tens of millions of people in the U.S. Symptoms can include itching, burning, redness or a foggy sensation.

Our eyes are the only organs exposed to the outside, and it’s important to take care of them. They produce oily tears which shield sensitive tissues, and production can decrease due to age or the use of certain medications. This reduces the ability of the tears to protect the eyes.

Dry eye syndrome can also be a symptom of other disorders, so if you are experiencing symptoms you should certainly see your eye care provider for a comprehensive eye examination.

Treatment for dry eyes can include eye drops and/or supplements. Consult your eye care provider during your eye examination for more complete information.

Image credit: Eye in Closeup! by Tobias Dalberg

Why see a Licensed or Certified Optician?

AZSTBRDDGOPTCNS-300x290Suzi Coleman, July 2015

#LicensedOptician

We live in a very exciting time, with so many options to purchase eyewear. Since they are your most important accessories, it’s great to be able to choose multiple pairs in a variety of styles so you’ll always look and see your best.

Traditionally, Opticians have been your “go-to” person to assist with selection and fitting of eyewear. Eyeglass prescriptions can be tricky to fill correctly, and opticians in many states go through testing to meet competency standards to become certified or licensed. They are also required to continue their education on an ongoing basis. In Arizona, Opticians are overseen by a licensing board, known as the Arizona State Board of Dispensing Opticians. There are national guidelines for the manufacture and dispensing of prescription and safety eyewear, and Opticians are responsible for ensuring that your eyeglasses conform to those standards.

There are many different types of lens materials available today, and with such diverse prescription needs your Optician can guide you through the maze of choices. They are also experienced in frame style selection combined with prescriptions and materials. Buying a great fitting pair of eyeglasses can give you long term comfort visually and physically, while a poorly fitting pair can make you miserable.

Just as a Cadillac really shouldn’t be compared with a bicycle, although they are both considered transportation, custom ordered eyewear can be a completely different experience when compared to ready-made or patient-ordered. When you consider the quality, fit and comfort of custom eyewear, visit your local Optician, and expect to be educated on precision technology, materials and the latest fashion.

Suzi Coleman loves finding the best fit for individual customers and has been a licensed optician in the state of Arizona since 1981. Currently practicing in Flagstaff, she is the current Secretary of the Arizona State Board of Dispensing Opticians.

Image credit: Great Seal of the State of Arizona