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Visual Edge

  • Protect Your Eyes for the Summer

    mr-sun1

    The weather is changing and we’re all getting ready to put on our bathing suits, throw a towel in the car and head to the beach. Summertime’s warm, sunny days inherently lead to more time spent outdoors and therefore more exposure to the sun’s rays. While limited sun exposure is beneficial to our health, increasing levels of Vitamin D, coloring our skin with gorgeous tans and elevating our moods, it can also be damaging if we forget to protect ourselves. We’ve all experienced the pain of a sunburn and the fatigue that comes with too much time in the sun. We know to put sunscreen on to protect our skin and to drink enough water to keep our bodies hydrated. However, we often forget how the sun can affect our eyes. There are a couple easy steps we can take to ensure our eye safety, including wearing sunglasses and hats.

    Sunglasses are not only stylish but are also essential to safe driving, playing outdoor sports or even making a fashion statement. However, the level of UV protection provided by your sunglasses makes a huge difference and can ultimately affect the overall health of your eyes. Too much ultraviolent exposure can lead to damage to the skin on your eyelids, the cornea and retina of your eye and can even lead to certain types of cataracts.

    by-the-pool

    As you probably know, sunlight contains various ultraviolet wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye. The two types of we need to be concerned with are UVA and UVB rays. UVC rays also exist but are mostly filtered out by the atmosphere, so we need not be too concerned.

    UVA rays have the least affect on our eyes but are still dangerous with prolonged exposure due to their ability to pass through the eye’s cornea to the lens and retina. UVB rays have a higher energy and shorter wavelengths, making them more powerful. In small doses, these rays are responsible for summer tans but overexposure can lead to sun burn, premature aging, wrinkles and even skin cancer.

    UVA and UVB radiation is present at all times of the day, but is most intense between 10 am and 2pm, especially during the summer and at higher altitudes. So be prudent about your eyewear if you know you’re going to be outside during these times. Open spaces also tend to have higher levels of UV rays, especially when reflective surfaces like snow and sand are present. Urban areas have lower UV concentrations because buildings and other structures shade the streets.

    Our best defense against the sun’s harmful effects is wearing proper sunglasses. When shopping for sunglass, be mindful of the percentage of UV protection offered. High-quality sunglasses will provide up to 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays. Avoid glasses labeled “cosmetic” or don’t provide UV protection information. Other lens options exist to make distant object easier to discern, reduce glare, adjust to different lighting situations, protect from impact and block visible light. However, first and foremost, look for UV protection.

    Contrary to popular belief, lens tint does not affect its efficacy. In fact, darker lens can distort color and make seeing important signals like stoplights more difficult.
    Another important factor to remember when choosing sunglasses is that they only protect the front of the eye. Damaging UVA and UVB rays can still reach the eye from around the sides or top of the frames. Wraparound styles are the most effective way to block out these rays. This style is great for participating in outdoor sports as there are no blind spots or potential to be blinded by the sun. They also fit tighter and are less likely to fall off during physical activity.

    baby-in-sunglasses

    Lastly, don’t forget that children’s sensitive eyes are most affected by the sun. Outfit your kids with quality sunglasses and encourage them to wear them as often as possible. Children also tend to spend more time outside than adults, making eye protection even more important.

    Whatever style, color, or shape you wind up choosing, remember than sunglasses are our eye’s best defense against the sun. We are especially vulnerable during the summer due to increased UV radiation, but sunglasses are equally important when clouds or snow are present. So equip yourself with glasses with a high percentage of UV protection, look for wraparound frames, wear a hat to ensure maximum protection and enjoy these warm summer months without worrying what the sun will do to your eyes.

    sunrise

  • Visual Edge Media

    In addition to providing you with our reading slant board to facilitate reading and writing development, we also strive to be your resource library with a wealth of information for everything from vision care, reading, studying and more.

    In our resource library you'll find documents, reading lists, terms for definitions and articles providing valuable information  in regards to reading and writing  help.

    Here is our informational video.

  • How to Get Your Children Involved in Reading

    children involved in readingreading

    With the advancement in technology, many feel that reading has taken the backseat to Video games and television.  Reading during holidays and summer breaks, helps kids maintain their brain muscle activity consistent so that once the classrooms commence again, they ease into educational and study routines easier.  Though it may seem challenging to spark interest in children to enjoy reading, there are many things you can do to make the activity fun and an event worth looking forward to.

    Teamwork
    Similarly to sending a child to their room when they've been bad, instructing them to just go and read there, can give the activity of reading a negative connotation.  Rather than implementing a forced schedule where they must read, make it a joint experience.  Studies show that parents who read to their children at a very young age, imprint a memorable experience that sticks with them  till they grow older.  If your kids already know how to read, try reading books to them that are advanced for their level.  This helps to introduce more sophisticated vocabulary and grammar to them.

    Location Location Location
    Take advantage of weather and beautiful scenery in your area.  By taking the activity of reading elsewhere, surroundings can help play a big part in the experience being taken in by your child.  During summer months, you can make it a family event for everyone to grab their favorite books and head out to the beach for some R&R, or have a picnic in the park that includes reading and talking about interesting stories.

    Make it a Routine
    The key in keeping your child reading is to build a consistent routine around the activity,  something for your child to look forward to.

    Ask Questions
    Like a great movie, a wonderful story is always exciting to share.  Ask in depth questions that help challenge your child to retain information and focus on what they're reading.  Show genuine interest by asking about the characters, the scenery or even what your child would do if they were in the place of the character.  By opening a dialogue with your child in the story you're bringing more of the book to life!

    Reading is more than assimilating words from pages, but rather an experience that you and your child can enjoy together.

    Thanks for reading our How to Get Your Children Involved in Reading article.

  • Visual Edge Laser Etching

    The Visual Edge Slant Board can already be used for many purposes including, reading, writing, working on your laptop, studying and so much more.  We've now added laser etching, to customize your board with your name, school logo or even a music scale to help you practice your notes.  Dry erase markers can be used on the board over the etching and can be easily wiped away.  Contact us for a quote or with any questions today.

    laser etching

    laser etchinglaser etching

  • Happy Lunar New Year!

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    It is currently a festive time for many and we wanted to extend to everyone celebrating,  a very Happy Lunar New Year! May your year be filled with all the love, luck, fortune and happiness! This year is the year of the Tiger.

  • Lack of Sleep Affects Vision

    lack of sleep affects vision

    Many of us have experienced the feeling that there isn't enough hours in the day.  Whether it's work deadlines, projects, errands or taking care of the family, the busy schedules can cut into our sleep hours.  It is quite apparent how sleep can affect our ability to focus and other motor skills along with our health, but did you know that lack of sleep affects vision?

    Ophthalmology department at Mayo Clinic, USA reported findings that the continued lack of sleep or poor irregular sleeping patterns can also lead to blurred vision and eye vexation.

    Other problems include:

    • Ischemic optic neuropathy (a vascular optic nerve lesion)
    • Loss of vision in a single eye after waking up
    • Papilledema (Swelling of the optic nerve)
    • Vision Deterioration

    There will never be enough hours and there will always be an endless list of things to do, remember that your health comes first and get that much needed shut eye!

  • Get a Free Prescription Pad

    prescription_pad

    Our reading slant board had helped so many individuals through their vision therapy, reading disabilities and rehabilitating various functions of learning and seeing.  We wanted to make recommending and ordering our readingslant board easy.

    We always love hearing from our customers and their experience with our reading slant board, so if you have a testimonial or a question, please contact us and you may even be featured on our next blog!

  • Protecting Your Eyes from UV Rays

    uv_protection

    There has been multiple reports about the effects of the sun's UV rays on the skin, from skin cancer, risks of sunburn and more.  What we don't hear about too often are the effects of UV rays and the eyes.

    Constant UV exposure can cause the following damage to the eyes:  macular degenerations, pinguecula, cataracts and pterygia.

    HEV - high - energy visible radiation (aka blue light) can also contribute to macular degeneration.

    Since you cannot see UV rays, it is a misconception to assume that your eyes are not at risk, just because of a cloudy day or lack of direct sunlight.

    There are three types of UV Rays:
    UVC Rays: Considered the most harmful because  it is the highest - energy ray.  Our ozone layer protects us from this particular ray, but with the depletion of the ozone layer, we are at risk of being affected by UVC Rays.  It has a wavelength of 100-280nm.

    UVB Rays: Longer wavelengths mean lower energy.  Like UVC Rays, we are semi protected by the ozone layer to these rays, but some of the rays still reach the earth's surface.  UVB rays can cause a darkening of the skin (melanin production) and prolonged exposure can cause skin to age, wrinkle and discolor.

    UVA Rays: Lower than UVC and UVB rays, these rays are the closest to being visible.  These rays can penetrate and reach the lens/retina of the eye.  This particular ray is what contributes to eye damage after prolonged exposure.

    To protect your eyes, if you think you will be outside for an extended period of time, it's suggested to wear sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection.  UV rays are still present even on cloudy days.

  • 3 Eye Exercises to Practice at Your Desk

    exe exercises

    Whenever studying or working at a computer, it's easy to get consumed by the task at hand and forget that our eyes are muscles that need rest too.  Here are three exercises in which you can practice at your desk to help promote the life and longevity of your eyesight.

    The Trombone Method

    trombone_method1

    image via allaboutvision.com

    Looking Away and Around

    The idea is that every 30 minutes of staring at the computer, you should take a 15 second break to look away and star at objects in your room at different distances.   This helps your eyes adjust to seeing different lighting and focusing on items at different depths of field.

    Getting Shut-Eye

    closed_eyes

    Sleep has an array of healing capabilities where it allows our body to re-set and start fresh in the morning, but resting your eyes is not something you need a bed for.  Taking time through-out the day to simply close your eyes, allows the muscles to relax and start fresh again.  This not only helps prevent eye strain, but it also gives you a chance to come back to your work with a fresh new look to possibly see something you may not have caught before.

  • What are Polarized Lenses

    polarized_lensesglare

    There is a common use of polarized sunglasses for boaters, fisherman and water enthusiasts to reduce the glare of light being reflected from the water.  To start off with, the definition of the world "polarized" is: a property of waves that describes the orientation of their oscillations. (google web definitions).  What causes the glare is that light being reflected off of flat surfaces such as water or a slick road are frequently horizontally polarized.  How polarized sunglasses work is that specialty Polarized lenses are constructed to block out horizontally polarized light by their vertically oriented polarizers.

    The same technique has been used to also develop 3d effects in movies and visual effects.

    For most things, polarized lenses provide an added benefit for reducing glare, but for skiers and snowboarders, sometimes that glare is needed to serve as warning of a slick patch of ice ahead.

    By controlling how reflected light appears, polarized lenses can help seeing a bit easier during outdoor activities.  For more information contact your local eye care physician.

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