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The Importance of Wearing Sunglasses for Winter Sports

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Although the sun may not shine as many hours a day in the winter, that doesn’t mean the cold months are a time to retire your sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses is as important in the winter as it is in the summer, especially while engaging in winter sports like skiing, sledding, snowboarding and ice skating.

Here are some reasons you should put on your sunglasses before going out, even on the coldest days.

Eyes Need Protection from UV Rays, Even in the Winter

The sun’s ultraviolet rays are not just harmful to the skin; they can also lead to eye diseases. According to a 2014 study by the National Eye Institute, there is a direct link between UV radiation from sunlight and the development of cataracts. Other studies have found a similar connection between UV rays and age-related macular degeneration.

Ultraviolet rays can do harm even on cloudy wintry days, especially when light bounces off of ice, snow and wet surfaces, creating intense glare.

This is why it’s crucial to wear sunglasses in the winter, especially while enjoying the great outdoors. Be sure to choose sunglasses that screen out 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays for maximum eye protection.

Sunglasses Protect Against “Snow Blindness”

Extended exposure to glare can bring on headaches and eye strain.

Glare can also cause snow blindness (photokeratitis), temporary blindness that results from sunburned eyes. This is particularly dangerous at higher altitudes, where UV rays become more intense. To prevent sunburned eyes and snow blindness, wear performance snow goggles geared to your sport, or protective sunglasses.

Try photochromic lenses that correct vision and automatically adjust the lens tint to match the level of brightness. The lenses become darker when exposed to bright light without requiring a change of glasses.

Protective Eyewear Shields Eyes from the Elements

If you enjoy winter sports, keep your eyes safe with protective sunglasses that not only shield them from the glare but also from wind and debris. Harsh winds on the slopes or anywhere on a wintry day can evaporate tears and result in dry eyes. Plus, wrap-around sunglasses can prevent debris from flying into the eyes and causing corneal abrasions.

Close-fitting sunglasses with wrap-around frames and sports goggles help amateur and professional athletes protect their eyes even in the harshest conditions.

Finding the Right Winter Sunglasses

At Lowy & Sewell Eye Care, we are dedicated to helping people select eyewear that enhances their vision and protects their eyes. If you want to learn more about prescription sunglasses, contact Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord today to schedule your eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Snow Blindness Caused Only By Snow?

  • A: Photokeratitis is the sunburn of the eyes caused by the intense glare reflected off of reflective services like ice, snow and bodies of water. Although temporary, the condition comes on suddenly and is painful. By the time an individual notices the problem, the damage to the eye has occurred.While photokeratitis is commonly known as snow blindness, it can also occur on a sunny summer day at a sandy beach. The best way to prevent it is with UV protective sunglasses or goggles.

Q: What are some advantages of prescription sunglasses?

  • A: Although you could pick up a pair of sunglasses at the store, consider the advantages of prescription sunglasses:
    • Custom-made for the patient – you can choose the features you want, including lenses that are tinted, anti-glare and/or ultra-thin
    • Polarized prescription lenses can eliminate glare
    • Vision correction – no need to wear contacts underneath sunglasses, or clip-ons over glasses
    • Prescription sunglasses block 100% of UV rays
    • Quality – prescription sunglasses are made of durable, high-quality materials.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What You Should Know Before Buying [Colored] Contacts

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If you want to experiment with a new eye color, consider a pair of colored contact lenses. Whether you’re looking for subtle highlights or want to make a splash with a bold new look, here are the things you should know before purchasing colored contacts.

You Need a Prescription

Although some colored contact lenses are designed only to change the color of the eye and not to correct vision, anyone purchasing contact lenses in the U.S., even if they are purely cosmetic, need to have a prescription. This is true even if you have perfect vision.

The FDA places all contact lenses in the category of medical devices and they cannot legally be sold in the U.S. without a prescription, regardless of their use. Purchasing cosmetic contact lenses online, in costume stores or kiosks without a prescription is not only illegal; many of these lenses do not meet safety standards and can potentially damage your eyes.

Whether you want to get fitted for colored lenses just to spice up your appearance or need vision correction and also want to alter the way your eyes look, you will need to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor, who will assess your vision and eye health, and use their training to prescribe the best lenses for you.

At Lowy & Sewell Eye Care we can give you an eye exam and answer your questions about colored contacts. We serve patients in Concord,and provide convenient and comprehensive eye care.

What Are Colored Contact Lenses?

There are two types of colored contact lenses: those that are meant to correct vision and change the way the color appears, and those that are purely cosmetic.

Colored contact lenses alter the way the iris, the colored part of the eye, appears. Although the part of the lens that covers the iris has color, the very center of the contact lens is transparent. This allows the front of the pupil, which controls how much light enters the eye, to function properly.

Colored contact lenses come in different types of tints:

Visibility Tint

Although the visibility tint has a slight green or blue portion, it does not change the color of the eye at all. Rather, it allows contact lens wearers to see the lens more clearly during insertion or removal, and especially if it is dropped.

Enhancement Tint

The enhancement tint is translucent and is darker than the visibility tint. This level of tint does not drastically change the color of the eye. Rather, it intensifies natural eye color, and is ideal for people who have light-colored eyes and want dramatic highlights, such as brighter blue, darker green or violet accents.

Opaque Tint

Opaque tints have solid colors and are not transparent. They are ideal for changing the perceived shade of the eyes from a darker to a lighter shade, or dramatically changing the perceived color of the eyes. These tints are available in:

  • Grey
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Violet
  • Hazel
  • Amethyst

Blending Tint

Blending tints are able to combine opaque and transparent tints because they are transparent on the outside and gradually become more opaque towards the middle. The intention is to make the new eye color look more natural.

Custom Tint

Custom tint lenses are designed specifically for individual wearers and, since they are suited to their natural eye color, have a more natural look. In some cases, custom tint lenses are designed for people who have suffered from eye injuries or have eye imperfections and want a more natural looking iris or pupil.

Athletes can benefit from custom tints, which are called “sport tints,” because they can minimize glare, improve depth perception and sharpen contrast sensitivity for heightened sports performance.

Choosing the Right Colored Contact Lenses

The type of colored contact lenses you choose will depend on whether or not you need vision correction, the natural appearance of your eyes and the effect you would like to create.

If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or another eye condition and also want to change the shade of your eyes, choose colored contact lenses that correct vision and alter eye color.

Transparent or enhancement tints bring out the color in light-hued irises. Opaque tints can transform the color of dark eyes. For medium-shade eyes, blending tints create a more subtle change.

Are there Any Special Risks with Wearing Colored Contacts?

The risks of wearing colored contact lenses are not that different from the side effects that can arise from wearing regular contacts. According to the FDA, some possible side effects of wearing contact lenses:

  • Eye irritation
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Eye infections

In many cases, eye infections are caused by improper cleaning and disinfecting of the lenses. It is important to [familiarize] yourself with contact lens care and to ensure that your hands are clean before inserting and removing your lenses. You should discuss any symptoms of an eye infection, such as eye swelling, excessive tearing, red eyes or blurred vision, with your eye doctor

In addition to problems associated with regular contact lenses, there are a few that can be caused specifically by colored contacts. These include:

  • The colored portion of the contact may slide over the pupil, which could interfere with aesthetics and vision
  • As pupils expand at night, they may extend into the opaque portion of the lens, obscuring vision

To be fitted for colored contact lenses, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lowy at Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord. See better and look your best with colored contact lenses that suit your style, vision and lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Do I Get Fitted for Colored Contacts?

  • A: The fitting process for colored contact lenses is the same as for regular lenses, except that you may want to consider first what kind of tint and shade you are looking for. The eye doctor will measure your eyes to determine the power, curve and diameter of the lenses. They will then measure your iris and pupil, and with a tear film evaluation, check that your eyes produce enough tears to stay moist. This is important because if the eyes are too dry, contact lenses will cause discomfort.Some eye doctors can also provide a trial of these contact lenses, allowing you to see the actual changes and enhancements to your eye’s color and whether they meet your expectations.

Q: Are Colored Contacts More Expensive Than Regular Lenses?

  • A: Colored contact lenses cost more than regular contacts. This makes sense, considering that it requires extra craftsmanship to make natural-looking lenses that will alter the appearance of the eye. However, many people are pleased with the way colored contacts look and are willing to make the investment to enhance their eye color.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


7 Tips For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy During The Pandemic

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COVID-19 and the accommodations needed by the virus are taking a toll on our eyes. Here are our top 7 tips for keeping your eyes as healthy as possible during the pandemic:

1. Drink water to reduce dry eye symptoms and discomfort

Wearing a face mask and working at a computer can both result in dry eye symptoms.

When the mouth and nose are covered with a mask, breath can rise toward the eyes and dry them out. People who spend time staring at a computer or digital screen — a practice that has increased since the start of the pandemic — can also experience dry eye symptoms due to a lower rate of blinking.

In order to avoid dehydration and keep your eyes properly hydrated, health professionals recommend that you drink at least six to eight 8-ounce servings of water every day. Your eye doctor may suggest using artificial tears or prescribe another dry eye treatment.

2. Make adjustments to your screen time

As we spend more time stuck at home, many of us are also spending more time in front of computers, tablets and phone screens.

Studies have shown that people who look at screens blink much less than they do at other times. The reduced blink rate often leads to dry eye syndrome, whose symptoms include blurry vision and dry, itchy, irritated eyes. Digital eye strain, which can cause headaches, eye fatigue and neck and shoulder pain, is another concern.

Tips on how to reduce symptoms include:

Adjust the distance you sit from your computer screen. According to eye doctors, the ideal distance from your eyes to the monitor is somewhere between 40 and 70cm, depending on the size of the monitor. You should also place your monitor slightly below eye level so that you’re looking slightly downwards at the center of the monitor at about a 20-degree angle.

Take scheduled screen breaks. Set an alarm so that you can remember to give your eyes a rest by getting away from your screen every 20 minutes or so. Take a walk and look around, to give your eyes a chance to “stretch.”

Adjust lighting and contrast to match your surroundings. Uneven lighting between the screen and your surroundings, and poor contrast can strain your eyes. Don’t place computer and television screens in front of an outside window to prevent the sun from shining in behind the screen. Also be sure to use “night mode” on your computer, tablet or smartphone in dark environments. This will automatically adjust screen brightness, color and contrast to optimum levels for viewing in the dark.

3. Ease Eye Strain With Simple Eye Exercises

Being stuck at home during the pandemic also creates more opportunities for increased time reading, watching television or doing other activities that require concentrated near vision. Extended time on these activities can cause eye strain, headaches, blurry vision and more.

The following eye exercises can help relieve eye strain:

The figure-eight. Start out looking at the floor. Focus on a point around 10-15 feet away from where you’re sitting, and trace a figure-eight pattern with your eyes. After 30 seconds, reverse the direction of your figure-eight. Repeat this twice.

Moving near-vision focus. For this exercise, you simply hold your finger an inch or so in front of your eyes and focus. Then, slowly begin to move your finger away while maintaining focus. Once your finger is at arm’s length, stop. Give your eyes a 10-second break. Then re-focus on your finger at arm’s length, and slowly bring it back in, again maintaining focus all the way in.

Moving distance focus. This exercise is similar to the previous one, except you’ll now focus on an object roughly a foot away from you, and slowly shift your focus to an object 15 to 20 feet away. This exercise works best if repeated a few times in a row.

4. Wash Your Hands

Our hands are our primary tools for interacting with the world around us. We’re constantly touching, holding and grabbing things as we’re out and about. So, it should be no surprise that our hands are among the most bacteria- and virus-laden parts of our entire body.

When our hands come into contact with our eyes, viruses and bacteria can sometimes be introduced that may cause infection, including pink eye.

The COVID-19 coronavirus can be detected in the conjunctiva, the front part of the eye. Even though this could be a source of COVID infection, there is no conclusive evidence yet that the virus will spread from the eye to infect the lungs or other parts of the body..

Especially when you’ve been out and about, it’s important to keep your hands clean with frequent hand washing and use of [sanitizer]. Use a clean tissue or handkerchief instead of your finger or hand to wipe away irritants or excess tears.

5. Be Cautious With Your Contact Lenses

If you wear contact lenses to correct your vision, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before inserting or removing your lenses.

Proper cleaning and storage of your contact lenses is essential to prevent a build-up of pathogens that can cause infection. Be sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions exactly regarding care of your lenses and eyes, and wear your contact lenses according to their intended schedule, and not past their expiry date. Monthly contact lenses should be changed monthly and dailies should be changed daily.

You may also consider simply switching to eyeglasses until the pandemic has passed, in order to simplify your health considerations.

6. Eat Right For Good Eye Health

It can sometimes be tempting to calm the stress of the pandemic by relying on comfort foods. However, it’s also important to make sure that you’re eating right to stay healthy. Foods that will help keep your eyes in good shape include:

Salmon, tuna and other fatty fish. These and other kinds of seafood are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for preventing dry eye symptoms and long-term risk of macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Dark leafy greens. Vegetables such as kale and spinach are high in vitamins C and E. These are great for maintaining long-term eye health and preventing eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Orange fruits and vegetables. The orange color of foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe comes from a type of vitamin A called beta carotene. This vitamin helps improve night vision.

7. Don’t Wait Until the Pandemic is Over to Visit Your Eye Doctor

COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. At the same time, it’s essential for you and your family’s eye health to maintain regular visits with your [eye_ doctor] so that any problems can be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Our eye care team at Lowy & Sewell Eye Care is aware of the difficulties presented by the pandemic and has worked hard to create a safe place for you to come for all your eye care needs. If you have any questions or concerns about how we’ve prepared our office to meet these challenges, give us a call at 905-738-6680

For more info on how you can keep your eyes healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is it important for my child to have a comprehensive eye exam every year?

  • A: For children, annual exams can ensure that any problems with their eye health and vision will be identified and treated quickly, and won’t impede their ability to learn. This extends beyond simply checking for 20/20 vision.Unless they’re treated early, childhood conditions such as amblyopia and strabismus can cause severe vision problems later on. Other conditions, such as convergence insufficiency and eye-tracking problems, can cause blurry vision and headaches, and make it difficult to read or do homework for long periods of time.Because children’s eyes are constantly changing, it is also important to come in for an annual eye exam to see if they need glasses or contacts, or to ensure that their existing prescription is still correct.

Q: How can my eye doctor help me reduce symptoms of computer vision syndrome?

  • A: The first step is coming in for a comprehensive eye exam. Your eye doctor will thoroughly examine your (or your child’s) eyes and discuss ways to alleviate computer vision syndrome, also called digital eye strain.Your doctor may recommend specialty computer glasses. These glasses may include specific prescription lenses and prisms to help reduce or prevent eye strain and other symptoms by allowing the eyes to function without excessive effort and strain. Computer glasses also have special anti-glare and anti-blue light coatings that further reduce harmful light rays from entering your eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What To Do If You Have Eyelid Cellulitis?

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Cellulitis of the eyelid, also called periorbital cellulitis, is an infection of the eyelid and surrounding soft tissue. Although anyone can contract eyelid cellulitis, it is most often found in children under the age of 5.

Knowing what signs may indicate eyelid cellulitis can help you seek prompt treatment for the fastest recovery and best outcome. Here’s what you need to know if you suspect that you or your child has eyelid cellulitis.

What Are Causes and Symptoms of Eyelid Cellulitis?

Eyelid cellulitis is often contracted through a cut or insect bite near the eye where bacteria can enter, so you may notice a scratch near the eye along with other symptoms.

The main symptoms of eyelid cellulitis include:

  • Swelling and redness of one or both eyelids
  • Swelling of the tissues around the eye
  • Tenderness of the swollen tissues
  • Difficulty opening the affected eye

If any of the above symptoms are accompanied by eye pain, especially with eye movements or changes in vision, seek emergency eye care. This may indicate orbital cellulitis — a more serious infection that requires prompt treatment.

How is Eyelid Cellulitis Treated?

The type of treatment for eyelid cellulitis will depend on the patient’s age and degree of infection, but will include either oral, injected or intravenous antibiotics.

Infants less than a year old, and children and adults with a severe infection, will need to be admitted to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics.

Oral antibiotics are used to treat periorbital cellulitis in older children and adults.

We Treat Eyelid Cellulitis and Other Eye Emergencies

If you suspect you or your child has eyelid cellulitis, contact Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord for a prompt appointment.

Our optometric team offers emergency eye care and treats a wide range of ocular conditions and emergencies.

Whether you have eyelid cellulitis or another condition, we can help. To schedule your eye exam or learn more about our services, call Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does eyelid cellulitis affect vision?

  • A: No, because the eye has an effective barrier that prevents the infection from spreading to the tissues within and behind the eye. However, if eyelid cellulitis isn’t treated in time, it can spread to other parts of the eye, leading to a serious sight-threatening infection inside the eye, known as orbital cellulitis and long-term problems with vision.

Q: What are other types of eye emergencies?

  • A: Eye emergencies consist of eye infections, inflammations, severe allergies, pain, trauma, burns and foreign bodies in the eye. You should also contact your optometrist without delay if you experience a sudden increase in floaters or flashers, or any other changes in your vision.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Tips for Healthy Eyes If You’re Over 40

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If you’re in your 40s, you may have noticed physical changes that affect many aspects of your life, including your vision. Like the rest of your body, your eyes may need some extra care to function efficiently as you enter middle-age. The following tips will help you keep your eyes healthy from age 40 and beyond.

These tips do not replace a comprehensive eye exam and professional advice from your eye doctor.

1. Be Aware of Age-Related Changes in the Eyes

Understanding the way your eyes change after the age of 40 is the key to being proactive with eye care. For instance, if you find it more difficult to read the fine print in a book or computer screen than in the past, the problem is likely presbyopia, age-related farsightedness.

The lens inside the eye is responsible for changing focus, allowing us to see objects clearly both far away and up close. As the lens becomes harder and less flexible, it impairs the ability to focus up close. This makes it difficult to read the text in books or to see the images displayed on digital devices or computer screens. That’s why most people need reading glasses, multifocals or bifocals in their forties.

You should also be on the lookout for any changes to your vision, such as blurry night vision. Most often, this is due to cataracts — which cause blurry or cloudy vision due to the denaturation of protein in the eye’s natural lens — or macular degeneration, which is blurry or distorted vision caused by a deterioration of the central part of the retina. Glaucoma, which is caused by high eye pressure and results in tunnel vision, usually has no noticeable symptoms until vision loss has occurred.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Lowy at Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord, who will assess your eyes for these sight-threatening eye diseases. Early diagnosis can prevent or minimize vision loss.

2. Watch for Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye syndrome is usually caused by the impaired functioning of the meibomian glands, located inside the eyelids. These glands produce oils that create a protective film for the tears that lubricate and protect the front surface of the eye. When there is a malfunction in these glands, tears can evaporate easily and the eyes can become dry, red and itchy.

Once over the age of 40, these tiny glands are more prone to becoming blocked, or the oils may become thicker.

Women who have undergone menopause have a higher likelihood of developing dry eye than younger women or men. In a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, dry eye symptoms were reported by 17.9% of aging women compared with 10% of aging men.

Menopausal women should be aware of dry eye symptoms and consult their eye doctor, who may prescribe eye drops or other ways to [moisturize] their eyes. Wrap-around eyeglass frames protect the eyes from dry, windy weather, allergens and irritants.

3. Keep Your Optical Prescription Up-to-Date

Since eye changes tend to occur more rapidly among people over 40, it is important to ensure that your prescription glasses and contact lenses are still suitable for your eyes. This means consulting with an optometrist if you notice any difficulties seeing and reading, which may necessitate an updated prescription.

4. Schedule Regular Eye Exams

The older you get, the more important it is to have regular eye exams, particularly if you have symptoms of eye problems or have been diagnosed with diabetes. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, keeping your eyes healthy after the age of 40 requires consistent care. Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Lowy at Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Are Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?

  • A: Macular degeneration often occurs among adults over the age of 60, although it can also occur in younger people. Since women tend to live longer than men, they have a higher rate than males of developing MD. Certain medications, such as vasodilators and oral beta blockers, can also increase the risks. Lifestyle also plays a significant role: Smoking, poor nutrition, obesity, high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle can all increase the chances of developing macular degeneration.

Q: Can the Progress of Macular Degeneration be Slowed?

  • A: Over the past several years, there have been significant advancements in the treatment of MD, and extensive research shows that specific nutrients can slow its progression. Omega 3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin can act to prevent the disease from developing to an advanced stage. They can lower the risks of the “dry” form of MD transforming into “wet” macular degeneration, a rarer but faster-developing form of the disease that can cause sudden and significant vision loss. Certain treatments, such as eye injections and laser therapy, can often delay MD’s progression. Eye injections for the “wet” form may even be able to restore lost sight.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


2022 Sunglasses Styles For Men

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Sunglasses complement your wardrobe and express your sense of style while protecting your eyes against sun damage. Below, we’ve included the most popular sunglass styles which can be worn all year long.

Square Wire Frames

Square wire frames communicate casual sophistication and are ideal for round faces. Look for box wire frames that fit symmetrically square lenses and are plated with silver, gold or other metals. These eyeglasses are lightweight and are favored by celebrities like David Beckham.

Aviator Sunglasses

Invented in the 1930s to protect the eyes of American airmen, iconic Aviator sunglasses gained a new lease on life decades later, thanks to films like Top Gun. Look for a pair of Aviator glasses with sturdy yet lightweight metal frames so you can wear them for years, and lenses that screen out 100% of UV rays.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Today, shoppers care about the environment and seek out sustainable eyewear. The market for eyeglasses made from renewable materials has expanded and now you can find glasses made with plant-based acetate or titanium. Some eyeglass companies will donate a pair of glasses each time they sell sunglasses.

Sporty Wraparound Sunglasses

Oval lenses and wraparound frames may tempt you to hit the open road. Not only are they retro and striking, but wraparound sunglasses provide more protection by screening out the sun’s rays all around and not just with the lenses at the front.

Mirrored or Tinted Frame Sunglasses

Reflective coatings are not just for hiding from the paparazzi–they are a fun and stylish way to make a statement. Invest in a high-quality pair of mirror-lens sunglasses, because cheaper coatings tend to wear off quickly.

In addition to mirrored lenses, tinted sunglasses can add a sense of fun to your outfit. Each color not only creates a distinct look and mood but can enhance vision. Dark turquoise can help you see the contrast in intense light and yellow is ideal for object definition.

Retro Round Sunglasses

Round frames are reminiscent of the 1960s rock era, most specifically, John Lennon’s signature eyeglasses. Round sunglasses are the epitome of cool, and you can look right over the top of them with a completely unobstructed view. Elijah Wood and Ryan Gosling are often seen in these charming retro shades, and round lenses have retained their appeal for decades.

Cool Clip-Ons

These aren’t the clip-ons that you find in the drugstore. Clip-ons no longer have to be tacky, but designers have created cool and convenient clip-ons. However, many of the newest styles are not clipped on but magnetic and create a seamless connection to the eyeglass frame.

Wearing sunglasses not only makes you look like a celebrity, but they protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation. In addition, to choosing the right sunglasses, it is important to schedule eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy. Call Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord and schedule an appointment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can performance and sport sunglasses enhance vision?

  • A: Many performance and sport sunglasses are tinted, and each kind of tint can improve an aspect of visual acuity. For instance, amber tints are the right choice for skiing and snowboarding because they allow wearers to detect contrast. Grey lenses reduce glare without compromising color detection. Photochromic lenses start clear and become darker in the sun. Anti-reflective coatings can reduce glare.

Q: Which non-prescription sunglasses should I choose?

  • A: Non-prescription sunglasses have lenses that do not correct vision. Therefore, you can choose regular non-prescription sunglasses if you do not need to wear glasses. Contact lens wearers can wear sunglasses without a prescription. If you wear glasses, choose a pair of sunglasses you like and ask youreye doctor if they can have prescription lenses made that can be placed in the sunglass frames. Make sure that your non-prescription lenses screen out harmful UV rays.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Why Are My Eyes Dry in the Morning?

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If your eyes regularly feel dry when you wake up in the morning, it’s important to know why. Inflammation, age, medications and environmental factors can all dry out your eyes and cause other symptoms, such as a burning sensation in or around the eyes.

To identify the cause and relieve your dry eye symptoms, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Lowy at Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord. Pinpointing the underlying problem is the first step toward waking up in comfort.

What Can Cause Dry Eyes in the Morning?

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

If you can’t close your eyes fully at night, you may have nocturnal lagophthalmos, which can result from problems with the muscles that control your eyelids, a deformity in the eyelid tissue or partial facial paralysis.

More severe types of lagophthalmos can cause dry eyes during the day as well. With this condition, the eye dries out because the eyelids can’t close fully. This leaves the front of the eye constantly exposed to the air, resulting in excessive evaporation of the tears. If left untreated, any form of lagophthalmos can eventually damage the cornea, resulting in vision loss.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids caused by the malfunctioning of the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are located inside the eyelids and secrete oils into the tears that lubricate the eye and create a protective barrier on the surface of the eye, minimizing tear evaporation.

Blepharitis most often occurs when these glands become clogged or the oil becomes thickened. The main symptoms are inflamed, dry, red and sore eyes. These symptoms may be worse in the morning because not blinking at night results in the glands becoming more blocked, and the vital oil layer of the tears dissipates while you sleep.

Medication

Many types of medication can cause the eyes to feel dry, particularly in the morning. These include:

  • Antipsychotics and antidepressants
  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Hypertension medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Gastrointestinal medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Skin treatments
  • Chemotherapy medications

Age

With age, the eyes produce less moisture and oils and tend to dry out more quickly. As a result, the eyes may become dry, red and itchy. In particular, women going through menopause may notice dry eye symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations.

When people get older, their eyelids may also become more flaccid and fall away from the eyes. This leads to watery tears running out of the eyes more easily, further reducing the volume of the tears.

External Factors

External factors such as air-conditioning and heating units can dry out your eyes, especially if the units are located in your bedroom or if you sleep under a ceiling fan.

Other external factors that can exacerbate dry eyes include air temperature and humidity, pollution and windy conditions.

How do I know if I have dry eye? | Lowy & Sewell Eye Care

How to Relieve Morning Dry Eye Symptoms

How to relieve morning dry eye symptoms will depend on the cause.

One of the main treatments for dry eyes focuses on relieving dryness by stimulating the production of oil from the eyelid’s glands.

Your eye doctor may prescribe an ointment to apply before retiring and lubricating eye drops in the morning. Eyelid treatments involving the gentle application of heat and massage can also help the meibomian glands work more efficiently by increasing the release of oil into the tears.

Consider using a humidifier to make the air in your bedroom more comfortable, and wearing a sleeping mask to retain eye moisture.

These tips may provide some relief, but it is essential to schedule an eye exam with
Dr. Lowy at Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord to determine the precise cause of your dry eye symptoms and receive the appropriate treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Should I Know about LASIK Surgery and Dry Eye?

  • A: LASIK surgery corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. This procedure involves making an incision that may damage the superficial nerves of the eye. As a result, the nerves of the eyes may not realize the eyes are dry, and therefore not stimulate the required secretion of tears. The result can be dry eyes.

Q: How to Treat Dry Eye Syndrome Naturally?

  • A: While nothing can replace the advice of your eye doctor, eating oily fish, flaxseeds, and other foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can stimulate oil production in the eyes. Try applying warm compresses to your eyes and gently massaging your eyelids to unclog the meibomian glands. Protective eyewear, such as wraparound eyeglasses, helps block irritants and retain lubrication. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home. Applying eye drops regularly can also help prevent your eyes from drying out.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Vision Exams: What Does 20/20 Vision Really Mean?

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If you’ve had your eyes examined, your eye doctor likely asked you to read letters and numbers from an eye chart. That was to check for changes in your visual acuity, or sharpness of vision. Visual acuity can be measured in different ways, but the most common way is by using a Snellen eye chart — a chart with different sized letters and numbers in descending rows.

In 1862 Dr. Herman Snellen, an eye doctor in Holland, created the Snellen eye chart and coined the term ‘20/20 vision.’ Below we explore what that really means.

What is 20/20 Vision?

20/20 vision describes how clearly a person with normal visual clarity can see. All measurements of vision are taken when the patient is located 20 feet from the eye chart. A person with 20/20 vision can clearly read a certain row of small letters on the Snellen chart from 20 feet away.

A person with 20/40 vision who is 20 feet from the eye chart can only see the letters double the size of the letters that a person with normal vision can see.

Likewise, a person with 20/80 vision, who is 20 feet from the chart can only see letters four times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Legal blindness is considered to be 20/200 vision, and means that an individual with this sight at 20 feet away from the eye chart can only see letters 10 times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Is 20/20 Perfect Vision?

Not necessarily. This is a standard of measurement used by optometrists to help assess distance vision and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts, but vision is more than just 20/20 sight.

Several other visual skills are essential to functioning in today’s world and even a person with 20/20 vision can lack other necessary visual skills. Well-developed visual skills help individuals succeed at school, in the workplace and sports. For example, skills like eye tracking, teaming, convergence and visual processing all need to be up to par for a person to truly have ‘perfect vision.’ Visual acuity is just one piece of the puzzle.

Additionally, 20/20 isn’t the clearest possible vision. Some people have 20/15 or even 20/10 vision. This means their visual acuity is higher than a person with 20/20 sight.

How To Correct Visual Acuity

The first step in correcting a visual acuity problem is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. If your vision requires correction, your eye doctor will explain the different methods of vision correction, including prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Some people choose to correct their vision with refractive surgery, but like any surgery, it comes with the risk of surgical complications.

At Lowy & Sewell Eye Care, our goal is to help all patients achieve clear, crisp and comfortable vision, no matter their visual condition.

Not sure you have 20/20 vision? Call Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord today to schedule your eye exam today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What conditions can impair visual acuity?

  • A: Conditions like astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and an age-related loss of focusing ability (presbyopia) all impact sharpness of vision at various distances. Other conditions, including dry eye syndrome and cataracts, can also affect visual clarity.

Q: How common is it to have 20/20 vision?

  • A: Approximately a third of adults in America have 20/20 vision without the use of any vision correction, and 75% of American adults have 20/20 vision when wearing prescription lenses or other forms of vision correction.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Protecting Your Eyes This Winter

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Some people enjoy winter, while others can hardly wait for it to end. What no one disputes is the effect that months of cold temperatures, dry air and winter sun can have on the eyes. Here are some suggestions for keeping your eyes healthy and vision clear this winter.

Wear Sunglasses

While the sun may not shine as brightly in the winter, it can still damage your skin and eyes. Even on the coldest days you need to protect yourself from UV radiation. To lower your risk of developing complications and eye diseases like sunburned eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, look for sunglasses that offer 100 % UVA and UVB protection.

Wear a Hat

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat limits UV exposure by preventing the rays from reaching your eyes.

Keep Your Eyes Moist

Winter is a dry-air season. The chilly air is known to induce eye discomfort and can aggravate dry eye symptoms, whether due to the wind or the heat from an indoor heating system. Keep moisturizing drops on-hand to combat the dryness of the season and use a humidifier to keep the air moist.

Practice Good Hygiene

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is more common in the winter. This eye inflammation is usually caused by a viral or bacterial eye infection that spreads easily from one person to another. Wash your hands frequently to safeguard your eyes, refrain from touching your eyes, and don’t share linens during an active infection.

Visit an Eye Doctor

Make an appointment with an eye doctor who can assess your vision, diagnose winter-related eye conditions like dry eye and pink eye, and offer treatment and advice on how to keep your eyes healthy.

The tips above can help protect your eyes from the winter sun and wind, and increase your enjoyment during this winter season. Schedule an appointment with Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord to discover ways you can safeguard your eyes this winter or to schedule an eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do to protect my eyes when doing winter sports?

  • A: When choosing adequate eye protection for skiing or other winter sports, you need to consider the cold and snowy weather conditions. Because the sun is brighter at higher elevations, there is a greater risk of snow glare. By wearing anti-glare sports goggles with 100 % UV protection, you not only protect your eyes from the sun and glare, but also prevent snow and ice from flying into your eyes.

Q: It’s not sunny out. Do I still need to protect my eyes?

  • A: UV light rays reach the earth even on overcast cloudy days. So make sure you wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays, even when the sun is hidden behind the clouds.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Don’t Lose Your FSA Dollars!

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Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a special tax-free account employees can contribute to in order to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.

FSA’s are a great way to pay for eye care and eyewear—but there is one catch: it follows a ‘use it or lose it’ provision, which means that you must use your benefits by the end of the calendar year.

What can you buy with FSA funds?

FSA’s usually cover the majority of out-of-pocket expenses related to health care, including co-payments, deductibles, vision supplies, wearable devices and medical equipment.

But before booking your appointment or purchasing an item, check the details of your FSA account with your employer or representative.

In addition to an eye exam, you can use FSA dollars to pay for the following:

  • Prescription eyeglass lenses. You can get bifocals or progressive lenses, reading glasses, safety lenses, and specialty lenses. You can also order single-vision lenses or have any lens coated with an anti-reflective/anti-glare coating.
  • Sunglasses. Sunglass lenses, whether prescription or non-prescription, come in a variety of hues and types, including polarized and mirrored. You can also get sunglasses designed for sport-specific protection.
  • Frames. Designer frames are available in many different designs, materials, and colors.
  • Contact lenses. Contact lenses are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. To reduce maintenance, consider daily or short-term disposable lenses. Or if you have specific eye needs, you may choose to get bifocals, multifocals, or toric lenses for astigmatism. Colored contact lenses are equally an option.

Accessories. Contact lens cleaning and saline solutions, rewetting drops, and even eyeglass cleaner and wipes can all be purchased using FSA dollars.

​​Act Now Before Time Runs Out

Not using your benefits is comparable to leaving money on the table and walking away. We can help you take advantage of your FSA funds by providing eye exams and offering a wide array of eyeglass frames and contact lenses to choose from.

For more information or to schedule your eye exam, call Lowy & Sewell Eye Care in Concord today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is FSA?

  • A: A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a non-taxed savings account that allows you to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as eye care and eyewear. What you may not know is that many of these benefits will expire at the end of December.While FSA follows a ‘use it or lose it’ rule, according to HealthCare.gov, your employer may elect to give you a grace period of up to 2.5 months to use the funds or allow you to carry over up to $550 to spend the following year. Clarify the details with your employer.

Q: Does FSA also cover eye surgery?

  • A: If you require surgery, such as LASIK, radial keratotomy, or cataract surgery, your FSA may be able to compensate you for the procedure’s medical costs.Because your coverage depends on the surgery, you should check with your insurance representative and your eye doctor to confirm the specifics of your case.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lowy & Sewell Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.