Are Your Eyes Ready for the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse¹ will cross the United States on April 4, 2024, passing over Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. It will be a partial eclipse for us in Colorado, weather permitting!  

It will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044! So, let’s get those peepers prepped for viewing.  

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it’s not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. 

Use approved solar eclipse viewers.

The only safe way to view a partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses² or viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing. Sunglasses, smoked glass, unfiltered telescopes or magnifiers, and polarizing filters are unsafe. Inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use – if torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged, discard the device.  

Technique of the pros.

Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up. After viewing, turn away and remove your glasses or viewer — do not remove them while looking at the sun. If you normally wear eyeglasses, wear your eclipse glasses over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them. 

Totality awesome.

Only within the path of totality—and once the moon completely blocks the sun—can eclipse viewers safely be removed to view totality. Once the sun begins reappearing, however, viewers must be replaced. This will not be the case here in Colorado, so your viewers should be worn the entire time.  

Visit your doctor of optometry.

If you should experience discomfort or vision problems following the eclipse, contact an optometrist immediately to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Some common symptoms include:  

  • Loss of central vision, or solar retinopathy, 
  • Distorted vision, and  
  • Altered color vision.  

Keep in mind, eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses – regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun. 

For any more information on how to keep your eyes protected and healthy now or any other time of the year, reach out to an optometrist near you! 


Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Did you know that between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes? This is between 5-15% of the population!¹ Dry eye symptoms are

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The Time Has Come to Use Your Health Benefits!

Have you made good use of your health benefits this year? If not, consider using your Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) at your optometrist! These health benefits could be expiring and if you don’t utilize the benefits before the December deadline, those funds may not roll over into the next year.  

The end of the year can be a stressful time, so to help ease the burden of knowing what to do with your leftover health funds, we’ve compiled some ideas for you to get the most out of your HSA or FSA benefits! 

Schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam 

At the top of our list is an annual comprehensive eye exam! It is a great way to spend the funds while also taking care of your health in a practical manner. In fact, the eyes are the window into your overall health. A comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist can ultimately help to diagnose over 270 diseases, including non-eye related issues! This could be the first step in your health journey.

Correct your vision with contact lenses or glasses 

In addition to diagnosing potential health conditions, optometrists, of course, can help to correct any vision problems you are facing. HSA and FSA funds can certainly be used on vision correction like contact lenses and some super fashionable glasses! To avoid losing your funds, you can stock up on your contact lenses for the rest of the year or even consider changing up your style with different frames for every mood and occasion.  

Think about your family 

Your family needs care too! People of all ages (including infants) need to consider their eye health and vision. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam for school-aged kids can be especially beneficial in all aspects of their life. Understand that poor vision could lead to a child suffering in their academic success and social experiences. That’s why an annual eye exam is important to help correct their vision which can offer them great opportunities in school and life, and not to mention that cool glasses can be a game changer for their self-esteem! 

Work with optometric office staff 

When in doubt, ask for help! Your optometrist’s team is a great resource to assist you in deciding how to utilize your HSA or FSA funds before the deadline. If you have questions about what your funds can be spent on, be sure to contact the office for some advice and guidance.

Plan ahead 

There is no time like the present, so start thinking about how to use your funds for the next year now. Eye exams need to be an annual occurrence to ensure that your eye health and vision are staying in tip-top shape. Consider scheduling your eye exams earlier in the year or perhaps before the start of the next school year to make sure your whole family is seeing clearly and feel confident in their academics! This way, you are not having to scramble so your funds aren’t wasted.

As the end of the year approaches and you need to utilize your health benefits, consider keeping our suggestions in mind to help to keep your eyes seeing clearly and staying healthy! Eyes are the window to your overall health, if you do not yet have an optometrist to help care for you, click here to find one.

Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Did you know that between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes? This is between 5-15% of the population!¹ Dry eye symptoms are

Read More »

Winter is Coming – So Are Dry Eyes

Brace yourselves, winter is coming and so are dry eyes! Winter weather conditions are one of the leading causes for dry eye symptoms. This is because the air has less moisture, the wind is likely to be more intense and the cold can wick away the eye’s natural lubricant, tears. Experiencing dry eye symptoms is very common. In fact, it’s experienced by nearly 20 million Americans.  

Dry Eye Causes

Other causes for dry eye symptoms could include:   

  • Age  
  • Allergies  
  • Environmental conditions  
  • Gender  
  • Medications and/or medical conditions   

Over-The-Counter Remedies 

Sometimes, dry eyes can be improved at home with over-the-counter treatments including¹: 

  • Unclogging oil glands in the eyelid (meibomian glands) with warm compresses 
  • Cleansing your eyelids to remove oil and debris 
  • Blinking more frequently will allow natural tears to lubricate your eyes 
  • Eating foods naturally high in omega 3, like salmon, can improve the quality of oil in tears to prevent them from evaporating too quickly  
  • Drinking plenty of water 
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from harsh wind and sun  
  • Using a humidifier, especially in a dry climate like Colorado, can keep the eyes moisturized even in the driest of months 

Medical Intervention

If these tips don’t help your dry eye symptoms, you might be experiencing chronic dry eye disease. An annual comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist near you can help to diagnose if you are not producing enough tears or if the tears being produced are of good quality. Some treatments² your optometrist might suggest include:  

  • Prescription eye drops or artificial tears that can ease inflammation in the eyes or add more moisture.   
  • The use of punctal plugs in your tear ducts to stop excessive tear loss.   
  • Intense-pulsed light (IPL) therapy and eyelid massage to decrease moderate to severely dry eyes.   
  • Changing the type of contacts you use to potentially improve the dry eye symptoms you’re experiencing.   

Optometrists are a great resource to find dry eye relief in the winter or anytime of the year. Dry eye conditions are not usually harmful, however, leaving them untreated can cause great irritation and may even affect your vision. In extreme cases, damage to the cornea (the front surface of the eye) can occur if it is not adequately protected by your tear film. Discuss with your optometrist which treatment options and symptom management tools are best for you during your annual comprehensive eye exam!      



Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Tips for Dry Eye Relief

Did you know that between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes? This is between 5-15% of the population!¹ Dry eye symptoms are

Read More »

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