Playing outside in a snowy winter wonderland can be magical. Under clear skies in the sunshine, the soft white landscape becomes just about irresistible, whether at home or travelling on a winter-weather get-away.
Before you let your children run outside to build the most adorable snowman or fling themselves onto the ski slopes, make sure their eyes are well protected. Sun and snow can be a dangerous combination for both the eyes and skin.
Sunlight Reflected in the Snow
We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.
Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.
If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.
Can I Get Sunburned Eyes?
As you may have already guessed, yes —it is possible to get sunburned eyes. The condition is called snow blindness, or photokeratitis. Although most people do not actually experience permanent vision loss, photokeratitis is usually painful, causes extreme sensitivity to light, and can take up to two weeks to fully heal.
A single day of playing outside in the snow and being exposed to intensive sun glare can be enough to cause snow blindness— though usually with a delay of several hours following sun exposure. What’s worse, if the eyes are repeatedly sunburned there is a risk of long-term damage.
Symptoms of Snow Blindness
Just like a typical skin sunburn appears only after having been exposed to the sun’s rays, the same is true for the eyes. One sign of overexposure to UV is a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes, or a feeling of having sand in your eyes after a day spent in the snow.
When eyes are sunburned, they become highly sensitive to light, making it difficult to be outside. Other symptoms include blurred vision, watery eyes, and swollen eyelids. In rare cases, photokeratitis can even cause temporary vision loss, but it doesn't usually last longer than a day or two.
How Do I Protect My Eyes From Sunburn?
Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. An even more effective solution for winter activities is to strap on a pair of well-fitting UV protective sports eyewear, such as ski goggles. Wrap-around styles are ideal because they stay on even when you're active, and block the sun’s rays from entering your eyes from the sides too.
For winter sports lovers, there are plenty of good reasons to wear protective eyewear, and what works well in sports can be good for play as well.
How Can I Treat Sunburned Eyes?
It’s after the fact, and you’re suffering from photokeratitis… now what? Give your eyes a rest.
- Stay out of the sun for a few days until the symptoms die down.
- You may find it comforting to wear sunglasses even when indoors.
- For additional relief, place a cool, damp cloth over the closed eyelids while resting.
- Don’t wear contact lenses until the eyes return to normal.
- Artificial tears can help keep the eyes moistened, soothe discomfort and promote healing. However, it's important to consult an eye doctor before running to the pharmacy, since some eye drops are not well-suited for this condition. You can give us a call at 512-596-3834.
Now that you know the risks and precautions to take, you’re all set to enjoy the winter wonderland! Dr. Provost at King and Rose Optical is happy to help you protect yourself and your family from snow blindness, and offers expert treatment for sunburned eyes.
Swimming in a pool with your contacts on or topping off your solution may seem harmless, but they could compromise your contact lenses and your vision.
Below are daily habits to adopt for optimal contact lens care:
Wash Your Hands Regularly
Whether you use daily or monthly contact lenses, make sure to first wash your hands. Placing your finger on some clear tape and seeing the mark you leave will give you some indication of what you’re putting on your contact lenses if you don’t wash and dry your hands beforehand. Avoid using scented or oily soaps, as their residue might stick to the lens surface. Similarly, avoid creams and lotions prior to inserting contacts into your eyes.
This one simple and easy habit can make a massive difference in your eye health and can potentially prevent eye irritation and infections.
Clean Your Contacts Daily
You must clean and disinfect your contact lenses on a daily basis, unless you use daily disposables, of course. There are several cleansing systems and solutions available — the choice depends on the type of lens you use. Speak with Dr. Provost to determine the best cleaning solution for your lenses and eyes.
Avoid Contact with Water
It might seem harmless, but we advise against using tap water, as it contains impurities and microorganisms that can cause infections. Furthermore, tap water can lead your contacts to swell and change their shape. If you must swim with your contact lenses on, make sure to wear protective goggles and clean them with solution when you come out of the pool.
Never Ever Use Saliva
Your mouth is filled with germs, which are fine for your teeth but not for your eyes. Avoid using saliva to “clean” or moisten your contact lenses.
Do Not Top off Solution
Just as you shouldn’t mix spoiled food with fresh foods, you should not top off yesterday’s solution in your contact lens case with fresh solution. The concoction might not contain enough disinfectant to kill off organisms and clean your lenses.
Routinely Change the Contact Lens Case
Many people don’t know about this one, but it’s recommended to change your contact lens case every 2-3 months, as microscopic dirt may linger in the case, leading to contamination and eye infections.
Don’t Sleep with Your Lenses On
It’s important to give your cornea a chance to breathe; sleeping with your contacts may cause redness, soreness and infections. So make sure to remove your contact lenses before you get some shut-eye, unless they’re specialty lenses which are intended to be worn overnight.
If you’re using orthokeratology (ortho-k) lenses to reshape your cornea, do wear them at night or as instructed by your eye doctor.
Get That Annual Eye Exam
Don’t forget to book your yearly eye exam at King and Rose Optical in Austin, as your vision can change. You can’t purchase new contact lenses with an expired prescription anyway, so you’ll need an updated one when your contact lens supply is running low. Furthermore, getting an exam is also an excellent opportunity to ask Dr. Provost any questions you may have.
Dr. Provost was interviewed about his experience successfully fitting patients with new contact lens technology. He talked about daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lenses and many other types available at our office. Here’s the takeaway:
“New daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lenses have many advantages over previous contact lens materials”
While most new contact lenses are relatively soft and comfortable, new daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lenses are a better option as they offer the best combination of comfort, oxygen permeability, convenience, and safety. “They free you from having to use cleaning solutions and since they are meant to be daily disposable, you never have to worry about the lenses tearing or getting dirty over time.”
Dr. Provost always recommends the healthiest contact lens technology to his patients. However, he adds “It is important to maintain regular annual eye examinations for every patient, to ensure your best vision and eye health is maintained”
“Contact lenses are able to correct more than just nearsightedness and farsightedness”
According to Dr. Provost, “due to the advances in technology, many people can benefit from contact lenses, even people that have astigmatism or require bifocals”
Astigmatism, for example, requires that you wear the right kind of contact lenses. Toric contact lenses are now able to provide more stable correction for astigmatism. They are even available in the preferred daily disposable silicone hydrogel lenses. If you have astigmatism or other such problems then it is important that you visit us and let us provide a thorough contact lens evaluation.
We’ll suggest the right solution for you and help you pick a suitable pair of contact lenses for your condition. We offer a variety of contact lenses at our Austin office.
“Take Special Care of Your Eyes and Lenses”
“Never make the mistake of sleeping in your contacts. This is the #1 risk factor for contact lens-related irritations and infections,” warns Dr. Provost.
He recommends visiting an optometrist for annual contact lens evaluations and wellness exams to ensure your eyes remain healthy.
“Disposable lenses have their own benefits”
Dr. Provost emphasizes on the importance of disposable lenses. In his words, “Replacing the lenses every day makes sure the eye always has a fresh, clean surface.”
Invest in lenses that are safe and easy to wear and take off so that you have no trouble in your day to day life.
If you have been struggling to see clearly or comfortably out of contact lenses be sure to visit us and ask about the right type of lenses for you. We offer a wide variety of contact lenses including the new daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lenses, multifocal contact lenses, and new and improved toric and multifocal contact lenses.
We have a special obsession with our Jacques Durand collection. In our opinion, these are the most comfortable, natural cotton-based acetate frames made.
The line is created by a master optician with a passion for timeless design and quality. The temples are meticulously shaped to gently yet firmly hug the wearer, giving the perfect amount of tension for a solid and comfortable feel. Another unique feature is the polished frame front. This hand polished front gives each frame added dimension, taking a seemingly simple color like solid black and making it transform depending on the viewing angle. Soft, more elegant shapes are made more dramatic using this feature, while bolder shapes are softened. You will certainly find yourself intrigued by this design element the first time you see it in person.
Durability is another hallmark of the Jacques Durand collection. At King and Rose, quality is our first requirement when selecting eyewear. The acetate and production methods used by Jacques Durand result in a frame that will be long-wearing and hold its contour and shape.
The entire hand-crafted process occurs in Europe and for the sake of transparency each frame comes with a card detailing the origin and manufacture of the frame. The collection is ever changing while remaining true to its classic and timeless style. If you are in Austin you can peruse our current inventory in our showroom or contact us with any product questions. Here are several of our favorite frames from the collection.
Here is a rundown on the top eye care tips and diseases that are treated by Austin Optometrists.
Refractive conditions of the eye are the most common reason people visit the optometrist. Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the front of the eye is too curved or the eyeball grows too long. This causes blurred distance vision. Austin optometrists correct for myopia by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Hyperopia (farsightedness) is when the eye has more difficulty seeing things at near compared to things in the distance. Glasses or contact lenses are prescribed to compensate for hyperopia. Astigmatism is a common condition caused by irregular curvature of the cornea. People with astigmatism may experience distortion in their vision, headaches, or blurred vision. Many advancements have been made in eyeglass and contact lenses to correct astigmatism. Optometrists use special toric contact lenses to provide stable, clear vision for astigmatism. New digital eyeglass lenses are able to provide a wider field of view and more natural feeling vision for people that have astigmatism.
Presbyopia is leading reason people visit the optometrist. Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, presbyopia causes a loss of near vision focusing that happens to everyone starting in their early forties. Reading glasses, bifocals, and progressive eyeglass lenses are the most prescribed ways of treating presbyopia. New developments in contact lenses now allow optometrists to treat presbyopia with multifocal or monovision contact lenses. Our Austin optometrists are experts in presbyopia treatment. The progressive eyeglasses lenses we prescribe have the widest field of vision and optimized optics to allow people with presbyopia to see at all ranges clearly and with more visual comfort than was previously possible.
Are you on the computer a lot? Do you find yourself always looking at your phone? If so, you are not alone! Studies have shown that most people view digital devices including computers, tablets, and phones for many hours every day. These devices emit harmful and eye fatigue causing high-energy blue light. Recent advances in eyeglass technology have developed special lenses and lens coatings that can block a percentage of this harmful blue light. The result is more comfortable vision, less eye fatigue, and potential retinal health benefits. Our optometrists are on the cutting edge of all the options for protection your eyes from this harmful blue light.
Another condition our optometrists treat is computer vision syndrome. Computer Vision Syndrome happens when we view computers or digital devices for long periods of time. This can cause stiff or strained muscles in the back and neck, dry eyes from reduced blinking, strained vision from too much high energy blue light, and blurred vision from focusing muscle fatigue and spasm. Optometrists use custom “office” or computer eyeglass lenses to reduce focusing fatigue, protect against harmful blue light, and aide in proper ergonomics to reduce back and neck strain. Standing desks and other suggestions from our optometrists can help configure your work station to reduce the symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
Dry Eye Syndrome affects up to 50% of Austin area residents and is even more common in females and as we age. Environmental allergens, diet, dehydration, and stress are all factors that can contribute to dry eye. Optometrists perform in office testing that can identify your particular form of dry eye. Based on this evaluation our optometrists provide treatment starting with specific OTC lubricant eye drops. We also treat dry eye with warm compresses, eyelid massage, Omega 3 supplementation, punctal plugs, and prescription dry eye therapies like Restasis and Xiidra. Having dry eye does not prevent you from wearing contact lenses. Our optometrists will recommend daily disposable and super-hydrating contact lenses that will allow you to still wear contact lenses part-time or for special occasions.
A very common condition that is present in dry eye patients is blepharitis. Blepharitis occurs when there is an overproduction of bacteria in and around the oil glands in the eyelids. This overproduction of bacteria causes redness and irritation. Although this is a chronic condition our optometrists can prescribe various forms of relief. Treatment includes warm compresses, foaming eyelid cleansers, eyelid scrubs, antibiotic ointment, Omega 3 supplementation, and diet changes.
If Blepharitis is severe it can cause Conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva (the clear covering of the eye). Bacterial infection, viral infection, and inflammatory disease like dry eye and eye allergies can all cause conjunctivitis. Optometrists treat conjunctivitis with antibiotic eye drops, anti-allergy eyedrops, and lubricants. If you think you may have conjunctivitis it is a good idea to wash your hands frequently and see the optometrist for diagnosis and treatment.
Blurry vision can be a symptom of simple nearsightedness or farsightedness, but it can also be a symptom of something more serious like cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. Our optometrists test for all of these conditions as part of your annual wellness exam. Cataracts typically start in your fifties or sixties and cause a gradual increased in blurred vision. The optometrist will monitor your cataracts until they require surgical removal. Modern cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear lens. In addition to replacing the cloudy lens, cataract surgery can compensate for your prescription to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery. Glaucoma is a disease that causes the optic nerve to degenerate, causing a gradual loss of vision. Typical treatment is with eyedrops or minor in office surgical procedures.
Macular degeneration is common disease affecting the retina as it ages. New developments in vitamin supplementation and injectable medicines allow macular degeneration to be treated effectively. Optometrists evaluate the retinal health to detect early signs of macular degeneration and recommend treatment based on the severity and type of macular degeneration present. Close monitoring of you vision and regular exams are important in maintaining your eye health and preventing loss of vision.
As rates of diabetes increases, diabetic retinopathy is a condition affecting more and more people every day. As part of the retinal evaluation, our optomterist screens for the early signs of diabetic retinopathy and works in close partnership with retinal specialists for treatment.
Whether you are coming in for a routine wellness exam, new eyeglasses or contact lenses, or monitoring for a condition like glaucoma or cataracts, rest assured that our Austin optometrist will provide thorough, comprehensive care to make sure you are seeing clearly for years to come.
This week for our Model Showcase series we dive into something new! Götti Switzerland eyewear! The models Lisa and Loli are in our crosshairs this week to highlight that one can have a whole lot of style in not a whole lot of frame. Check them out!
Easily one of the most elegant and unique frames that we have here in the store. Rigards is no exception when it comes to artistry and craftsmanship. Forged out of sustainable water buffalo horn, this frame was crafted by a single artisan from beginning to end. Come into King & Rose and see for yourself!
This weeks Model Showcase series highlights Place des Alpes from French designer AHLEM EYEWEAR! This sophisticated sunglass is inspired by Paris architecture and embodies all that is Parisian style. Its unique shape and filigree detail is intended to be seen just like you!
Today we discover the realm of Andy Wolf Eyewear, more specifically model 5084. It combines a beautifully colorful acetate with metal to create this unusual piece. Don’t let the size of the frame fool you, it is very light and can be worn all day without issue. Come step into the world of Andy Wolf today at King & Rose!
King & Rose is proud to introduce a wonderful collection from French designer Sabine be. The line showcases playful colors and shapes which are intended to inspire the wearer to be themselves. Frame models like be Swag, be Pretty, and be Geek is a nod to the artist in us all.
Hello friends and welcome to this weeks Model Showcase video. This week we highlight a super fun stand out sunglasses from French designer Sabine be. This model is called the “be casual.” It is truly one of kind and intended to turn some heads! Come try them on and others from Sabine today!
Hey guys! This week we couldn’t just pick one frame! We wanted to showcase our KREWE collection. There are some good ones in here! Inspired by the culture and spirit of the city of New Orleans, you can be part of the krewe with your new Krewe frames. Come check them out!
Continuing along the same theme we have been on for the past week or so, we are proud to showcase Masunaga Optical 増永眼鏡株式会社 Get an up-close look at one of our favorite Masunaga frames the GMS-822. Also don’t forget our Masunaga Trunk show happening this Saturday, July 14th from 12pm to 5pm! See y’all soon!
This week we shine a nice bright light onto one of our favorite collections, Spexwax! One of our first Model Showcase videos highlighted a cool little neon green frame called the Camshaft. But this week we wanted to dive a little deeper with the collection so we could announce… WE ARE HAVING A SPEXWAX TRUNK SHOW!! That’s right! Saturday, August 25th, David Keith, designer and creator of Spexwax frames will be in our shop showing off his awesome collection. We are honored and excited to have him and we want you all to come see how truly unique his frames are! MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW. Enjoy the video!
This week’s model showcase highlights some more of our favorite @Spexwax frames. We announced last week that this coming Saturday, August 25th, the designer David Keith of Spexwax will be in our store with some more pieces from his original collection crafted entirely out of upcycled vinyl records! Wow!! Don’t miss out on this very unique Trunk Show! See the Events section on our Facebook page to find out more. (music provided by Bensound.com)
Introducing the Camshaft from eyewear designer Spexwax! 3 layers of upcycled vinyl records make up this one of a kind frame. Its unique color scheme is guaranteed to get the attention you deserve and no 2 frames are alike. Come try the Camshaft on and other models from Spexwax! Exclusively at King & Rose!