Quality Sunglasses

Sunglasses not only offer style but they offer protection from damaging ultraviolet radiation. Quality sunglasses are more expensive and worth it because of the premium optics, coatings, frames and style.
 The optics of your sunglasses determine the clarity and comfort of vision. Polarized lenses like Maui Jim minimize glare and reflections.
Sunglass lens treatments increase visibility and comfort. Backside anti-reflective coatings reduce glare from behind and repel water and dust. A mirror coating further reflects annoying light and glare.
Well-made frames start with quality materials that resist breakage and bending. The weight and balance of the frame is important for comfort as well.
Frames are styled for specific sports or can be highly fashionable. The details may include flexible hinges, variable color combinations and wrap styling.  

Don’t skimp on your sunglasses. You deserve the best comfort, protection and style.


Sun Protection

Most of us take precautions to protect our skin from the damaging sun radiation by putting on a hat and applying sunscreen.
A significantly smaller percentage of people put on sunglasses to protect the eyes from the same ultraviolet risks. Besides glare and discomfort from the brightness, the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause premature aging to the skin around the eye and the structures of the eye. In fact, the sun is the greatest environmental factor contributing to cataract formation.

SUNGLASSES provide a barrier to other eye irritants as well. Wearing sunglasses protects the eyes from wind, dust, pollen and debris. This is particularly beneficial for sports like cycling and running. maui jim 2016
COMFORT from good quality sunglasses is attributed to reducing glare and eliminating squinting. Glare can be direct from the light source or indirected (reflected). Reflected glare is eliminated best with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are especially helpful for watersports, fishing and on the snow, skiing and snowboarding.
QUALITY SUNGLASSES will protect against all UV wavelengths (A,B and high energy wavelengths). The lenses will be centered and have clearer optics than the sunglasses you find at the grocery store and gas stations. A premium sunglass frame is comfortable, fits well and is durable. It is also resistant to corrosion, tarnish, peeling and chipping.

Long-Term UV damage cannot be repaired. It is cumulative. Protect your eyes today, wear quality sunglasses.
And don’t forget the kids, they are more susceptible to UV damage than adults.


5 Tips to Healthy Eyes this Summer

Contact Lens Safety in water 

Wear sunglasses with UV protection

Did you know that it is actually possible for your eyes to get sunburned?! Just like your skin, your eyes need protection from the sun. Wearing sunglasses outdoors is very important in protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. Excessive exposure to UV light can also increase your risk for developing early cataracts and macular degeneration. When looking for a new pair of sunglasses, make sure that they have a minimum UV 400 protection and that they block both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, sunglasses will provide a shield of protection from dust and debris that can get blown into your eyes, which is a great added bonus, especially on those windy beach days!

Maintain safe wear and care of contact lenses

Keep your eyes healthy this summer by practicing safe contact lens wear. Long days, hot weather, travel, and lots of time outdoors can put you at a higher risk of developing a contact lens-related eye problem. In order to minimize this risk don’t forget to maintain proper contact lens hygiene! Remember to make sure that your hands are washed before handling your contact lenses, always use fresh contact lens solution, and minimize contact with water; this includes removing your contacts before going swimming or in a hot tub. And if you notice any redness, irritation, light sensitivity, decreased vision, or discharge, do not wear your contacts and call the office immediately.

Wear protective eyewear

Summertime often means working on projects around the house. This can include gardening, painting, remodeling, etc. that can potentially result in small objects flying around. Make sure you wear proper eye protection during these activities. And by eye protection, this does not mean regular glasses or sunglasses, this means professional quality goggles with impact resistant lenses and full coverage frame. You’ll also want to be sure to protect your peepers while playing sports, especially those that utilize small sized balls, such as golf balls, squash balls, and badminton shuttlecocks. Wearing proper eyewear can prevent up to 90 percent of serious eye injuries. If you do experience an eye injury, make sure to call us so that a proper eye health examination can be performed.

Avoid chemicals and natural irritants

Chemicals found in pools and bacteria often found in lakes and rivers can be harmful or bothersome to your eyes. Be sure to always wear goggles if you will be opening your eyes while playing or swimming in water. Other natural irritants that you may be exposed to while outdoors or hiking can include poison ivy, oak, and insect bites. If you find yourself outside near these irritants, be mindful of keeping your hands clean after touching plants, as rubbing allergens into your eyes can be very uncomfortable. If you notice any eye irritation, swelling, or redness, after any of these activities, contact the office so we can aid in determining the cause and help relieve your symptoms.

Schedule your yearly eye examination

Since you and the kids often have a little extra free time over the summer, it is the perfect time to schedule your annual eye examination?! A comprehensive eye exam is one of the most important preventative ways to preserve vision, and is the only way to accurately assess the health of your eyes, diagnose an eye disorder or disease, and determine if you require corrective lenses. Catching potential eye problems early could save your vision in the future, and that makes for an extremely bright and happy summer! Schedule online.



MJ Blue Hawaii 2015

Maui Jim Blue Hawaii Collection

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light may cause cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), skin cancer, sunburns, and premature aging of the skin. Wearing good quality sunglasses can protect the eyes from harmful effect of UV light.

When it comes to choosing sunglasses, the options are endless and confusing. Not all lenses are equal in terms of UV and blue light protection. Here are a few tips on selecting good optical quality of the lens and the correct level of protection.

UV light

The light spectrum is categorized by wavelength. If the light is in the visible spectrum, the wavelengths will determine its color. If it is in the ultraviolet range, these wavelengths determine its UV category (A, B or C)

Blue Light

A relatively new term, blue light can damage the retina, leading to AMD and blurring of vision.

gg3711s 2015

Sun Lens features:

The color, or tint, of the sunglass lens does not affect its UV and blue light protection. In fact, you can get UV 400 protection in some clear lens materials. To learn more about the different color of sun lenses, click here.

  • A mirror on the front of your lenses will reflect most of the direct glare, essentially “squinting” so you don’t have to.
  • A polarized filter in your sunglasses will eliminate reflected glare from the road, water and other flat shiny surfaces. With polarized lenses, you can see below the water’s surface, so they are great for fishing.
  •  A back surface anti-reflective coating will prevent light from bouncing off the back of the lens and into your eyes. This feature reduces glare.
  •  A photochromic lens will adjust to lighting conditions, getting darker as the lights gets brighter. A photochromic lens is activated by UV rays, so the lens will not change as much inside a car.
  •  Excellent quality sunglasses will be impact-resistant, light-weight and treated with an anti-scratch coating. They will have high-quality optics, provide sharp, clear and comfortable vision.
  •  Specialized tints are available for different sports and activities. You can get lenses that maximize your vision for tennis, golf, hunting and fishing.

Sun Frame Features:

Aspire Sun AcclaimedWhen choosing a sunglass frame, the most important thing to consider is its fit. The frame should fit close to your eyes and face to reduce the entry of bounce back glare. The frame has to be big enough to provide appropriate coverage and protection for your eyes.
Most quality sunglasses will be available with your own prescription so you can enjoy clear vision outdoors.

Clip-on sunglasses are available for most prescription glasses. Although these are an acceptable compromise, they add to the weight of you glasses. Also, there will be internal reflection between the two sets of lenses that decreases the quality of your vision.
Select a frame style appropriate for your lifestyle. Fashion sunglasses are beautiful and fully functional at the beach and for running errands. A different style, something lightweight more durable better suited for sports and athletic activities.

Westside Optometry carries the following sunglasses: Maui Jim, Nike, Gucci, Kate Spade, Saks Fifth Avenue and Aspire.


Benefits of Ultraviolet Light

Usually I am preaching the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) exposure, and I will do a bit of that, but there are some benefits to sunshine. Sun and the Eyes
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. It is produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from the sun strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. It is  essential for maintaining bone health. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the gut to enable normal bone growth and maintenance. It may also protect against the development of cancer, autoimmunity, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, type I and II diabetes and infectious disease. Although vitamin D can be obtained through vitamin supplementation, most people in the world derive their vitamin D from sun exposure.
Low vitamin D levels may increase the chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a minimum exposure to UV light may be necessary for the production of vitamin D. (this does not mean it is OK to stare at the sun). UV exposure should be moderate; too much and the risk for AMD increases, as does the risk with too little UV.
PterygiumThere are acute effects on the eyes from too much sun exposure such as photokeratitis (a sunburn on the surface of the eye). Long-term UV exposure can cause cataracts and pterygium (a growth on the white of the eye). Wearing sunglasses when outdoors is a simple way to prevent over-exposure of UV light to the eyes.

The amount of protection from sunglasses varies depending on the material of the lens and added coatings. For maximum protection look for lenses that block 90% of UVA and 99% of UVB.
Currently, the UV index can be used as a rough guide for knowing when the skin and eyes need protection. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8 or more appear to block vitamin D producing UV rays. Because we typically do not apply sufficient amounts of sunscreen or cover all exposed skin, synthesis of vitamin D probably occurs. The maximum amount of exposure needed to maintain normal vitamin D levels is 30 minutes twice a week. For some people 5 minutes twice a week is adequate. Again moderation, more is not better.




Fall Eyewear Event

CV kids 2014

Come one, Come all for the Westside Optometry Fall Eyewear Event
Featured this year is the entire Clearvision Collection and Maui Jim sunglasses. Clearvision includes frames for the whole family:

CH 1025 2014
Ellen Tracy, Cole Haan, BCBG for women
Izod, Marc Ecko for men
Jessica McClintock, Izod and Dilli Dalli for children
Included in each line are sunglasses too.

Ellen Tracy Suns 2014

The festivities are Saturday, September 6th at our office
320 Petaluma Blvd South in downtown Petaluma
10:00 – 2:00

Look for the Maui Jim tent in the parking l

MJ 2014
There will be refreshments


Too Much Sun can be Dangerous for Eyes

Corneal Sunburn

If the eyes are exposed to excessive amount of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation over a short period of time, “sunburn” called photokeratitis can occur on the surface of the eye (the cornea). This condition Sun and the Eyes may be painful and includes symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign-body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, blurry vision, excessive tearing and extreme sensitivity to light. Photokeratitis is also called snowblindness because it occurs often when enjoying winter sports where the light is reflected from the snow. It is usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage, but can take days to heal.
 Premature Aging
Ongoing exposure to UV radiation, however, can cause serious harm to the eyes and age them prematurely. Research has shown that exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over time increases the chance of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancer.

Whether it’s cloudy or sunny, summer or winter protect your eyes from the sun’s rays in order to decrease the risk of eye diseases and disorders.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to wear sunglasses, glasses or contact lenses with UV protection, apply sunscreen and wear a hat to protect the eyes and tissues around them.
And don’t forget your children, their eyes are more susceptible to damage from UV.
A good way to monitor eye health, maintain good vision and keep up-to-date on the latest UV protection is by scheduling yearly comprehensive eye exams.


UV Protection for Children

Babies, children and young adults have more transparent lenses in their eyes and more sensitive skin on their bodies. As a result, they are more susecptible to the adverse effects of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The negative effects of cumulative UV light exposure may not show up until later in life.
At 20 years of age, the average person has received 80% of their life’s UV exposure. This is why it is critical to protect our children’s eyes from the sun, beginning from their birth and continuing throughout their childhood.

For 13 Reasons Children should wear sunglasses, click here.

babiator boy

Westside Optometry has Babiator  sunglasses for infants and children. These sunglasses, designed especially for kids, come in 2 sizes and 10 colors. They have an amazing guarantee for loss and breakage.



Sunglasses as Prevention

UV and sunglasses

According to a 2013 survey by the American Optometric Association, only 40% of Americans wear sunglasses for the ultraviolet (UV) protection. I assume other reasons people put on sunglasses are to block glare, provide comfort and to look good.

Sun protection matters year-round

Are you active in winter sports such as snowboarding? UV protection is needed no matter the season. Consider this: UV radiation increases by about 4% with every 1000 feet elevation gain – and those rays keep coming even on cloudy days.

UV exposure can do short-term eye damage

You may not know about sunburn of the eye or photokeratitis. This condition comes from excessive exposure to UV rays. It’s not permanent, but can be extremely painful.

The sun can lead to long-term vision loss

Without proper protection, you can do damage to your eyes. Long-term over-exposure raises the risk of cataracts, pterygium, age-related macular degeneration and even cancer.

Sunglasses make a difference for kids, too

I hope parents are slathering sunscreen on their kids before a day at the beach. Sunglasses are important too. A child’s eyes are more sensitive than an adult’s so the need for protection is more critical at a very young age.


Winter Eyes

Winter winds and moisture zapping heaters can cause dry, red and irritated eyes.
Tears are essential for good eye health and clear vision. They bathe the eye, washing out dust and debris, and keep the surface moist and clear. The natural tear film also contains enzymes that neutralize microorganisms, reducing the risk of eye infections.
Tear FilmThe most common signs and symptoms of dry eyes are persistent dryness and irritation, scratchiness, a burning feeling in your eyes and red eyes. Oddly enough, dry eye syndrome also can make your eyes watery, as dryness can cause a protective overproduction of the watery component of your tears.

How to prevent dry eyes in winter

Cold winter wind outdoors and dry heat indoors can cause or worsen dry eyes. Follow these tips to keep dry eyes at bay.

  • Wear sunglasses or goggles. Wearing close-fitting sunglasses outdoors reduces exposure to sun and wind that can dry out your eyes. If it’s especially cold and windy, try foam-lined goggles that provide even greater protection from tear evaporation.
  • Supplement your diet. Fish oil and other nutritional supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent or relieve dry eye symptoms.
  • Drink more water. Mild dehydration often makes dry eyes worse, especially during dry and windy weather.
  • Switch contact lenses. If your contact lenses feel dry and uncomfortable, ask me about trying different lenses that are replaced more frequently and/or are better for someone with dry eyes.

Dry eyes may not be completely curable in certain cases, but the unpleasant Oasis Tearsdryness, scratchiness and burning sensation can be managed. We are carrying a new artificial tear called Oasis that contains long-molecule hyaluronic acid which keeps the moisture on the eye longer. Click here to read more about dry eye syndrome.