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Texas State Optical Board Chairman Receives State Honor

(PRESS RELEASE) HOUSTON — The Doctors of Texas State Optical announce the announcement of the Texas Optometric Association’s 2020 Young Optometrist of the Year honor will be awarded to Dr. Reid Robertson, current chairman of the Texas State Optical Board of Directors.

As defined by the Texas Optometric Association (TOA), young optometrists are defined as those who have been in active practice ten years or less, including residency or fellowship who often show remarkable leadership skills when serving their profession, their patients, and their community. The TOA recognizes the deserving young optometrist for performance of outstanding services on behalf of the profession and to the visual welfare of the public.

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Stop Touching Your Face By Wearing Glasses, Not Contacts

As public health officials work around the clock to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, everyone else is trying their best to up their personal hygiene. Washing your hands for 20 seconds and not touching your face are two of the strongest recommendations the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has to prevent getting sick whether from COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus), cold, or flu. Once you’re actively trying not to touch your face, though, you’ll probably catch yourself scratching at your temple or rubbing your eyes around 400 times a day. One expert has a simple suggestion to cut down on the face-touching: swap out your contacts for glasses.

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So, you want decorative contacts for Halloween? What to know

Remember the last time you bought underwear from a random website, at the gas station or a flea market? Perhaps the packaging was questionable, or the quality was poor, but they were a perfect color you were looking. You examine them close and wonder, “Where did these even come from?”

Extreme? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds, considering many Americans detrimentally play this scenario out every Halloween, not over underwear but decorative, costume contact lenses. In fact, 26 percent of Americans who have worn noncorrective, decorative contact lenses purchased them without a prescription from a source other than their eye doctor. And while questionable underwear certainly has its own issues, questionably acquired contact lenses can cause serious eye health issues or even permanent damage.

Whether corrective or decorative, all contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that means they require a prescription from an eye doctor before touching your eyes. Likewise, it means those knock-off, costume contact lenses packaged next to lottery tickets at the convenience store aren’t only of questionable legality, but they also could be dangerous.


Stephen Curry Started Wearing Contacts to Address Eye Condition

Warriors star Steph Curry saw a slight decline in his shooting last month and addressed the problem by starting to wear contacts.

Curry, 31, didn’t need corrective lenses due to his age or a sudden change in his eyesight. It turns out that Curry has suffered from a cornea condition called Keratoconus for all of his life, according to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II. Keratoconus is a disease where the cornea thins over time and begins to change from its natural circular shape to one similar to a cone. Because of it, the cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye and causes blurred vision.

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Complete eye exams in children could save their lives

Garineh M. Nersisyan, OD, writes in Healio (1/17) that more needs to be done to promote annual eye exams, because they are key to checking people’s vision and for the detection of sight-threatening and life-threatening diseases. Nersisyan mentions that “the American Optometric Association recommends a health check at 6 months of age, the first comprehensive eye examination at 3 years and again every 1 to 2 years after.” Nersisyan also says “that 86% of children begin the school year without having their eyes checked,” citing the AOA. Nersisyan also mentions that “Glen Steele, OD, AOA InfantSee and Children’s Vision Committee co-chair, stated that eye and vision disorders can impose a significant burden on patients, parents and the public.”

Continue reading Complete eye exams in children could save their lives.

Can you really go blind staring at an eclipse? Tips for safe viewing

CNN reports that “looking at the sun with” the “naked eye” during the upcoming Aug. 21 total solar eclipse could result in blindness from damage to the retina. AOA President Dr, Quinn explained, “When you look directly at the sun, the intensity of the light and the focus of the light is so great on the retina that it can cook it.” Dr. Quinn added, “If the exposure is great enough, that can and will lead to permanent reduction in vision and even blindness.” According to CNN, “the only time you can look at the sun with your naked eye is A) if you’re in the path of totality, where the sun will be completely covered by the moon, and B) during those two minutes or less when the sun is completely covered.” Otherwise, eclipse viewers are cautioned to wear eclipse glasses or use a Shade 13 welding filter. Read more here.

Eclipse sends eye doctors into overdrive

The AP reports “With the total solar eclipse right around the cosmic corner, eye doctors are going into nagging overdrive,” warning people of eye damage from “staring at the sun, even the slimmest sliver of it.” American Optometric Association President Christopher Quinn, OD, explained, “It’s really important to resist the urge to look even momentarily, directly in the sun because you have no real sense of time.” Dr. Quinn added, “What you think may be a glancing look could be a more substantial amount of time, and that can result in permanent damage.” Read more here.

Close To 175,000 US Preschoolers Struggle With Common, But Untreated, Vision Problems, Study Finds.

HealthDay (5/5, Mozes) reported, “Close to 175,000 American preschoolers struggle with common, but untreated, vision problems,” and that number is expected to rise in the next few years, researchers concluded. In fact, their “analysis projects that the number of cases of uncorrected poor vision in this very young population will jump 26 percent by 2060.” The findings were published online in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Sunwear for a Bright Future

girl beside balcony

According to the Vision Council’s 2016 UV (Ultraviolet Radiation) Protection report, parents are more likely to wear sunglasses (56%) than their children (only 29%!). Yet children, who spend much more time outside, are typically exposed to three times the amount of sunlight and UV radiation that adults get. This early exposure can lead to serious eye damage and complications later in life.

Children’s Eyes are More Sensitive

Particularly when it comes to children under 10 years of age, a child’s eye is more vulnerable than an adult’s. This is because, in children, the human lens lets about 70% more UV into the eye than in an adult. Further, once the cells of the lens are damaged they cannot repair themselves so the damage continues to accumulate throughout life. While immediate danger may be minimal, early efforts toward eye protection can prevent problems in adulthood. 

Children Have Greater Exposure to UV

At 20 years of age, the average person has received 80% of their life’s UV exposure. Children spend more time outdoors playing, participating in sports and even during recess at school. Since children have more transparent lenses in their eyes and more sensitive skin on their bodies, they are at great risk of experiencing adverse effects of overexposure to UV light. The effects of overexposure to UV light at a younger age may not show up until later in life, with higher risk of cataracts and age related macular degeneration.  This is why it is critical to effectively protect our eyes from the sun.  

UV exposure doesn’t just come from the sun. Sunlight reflected off of water, snow, sand and even pavement increases UV exposure and therefore wearing a wide-brimmed hat is often not enough to protect the eyes. Additionally, children are often looking upwards directly toward the sun at adults and objects that are taller than they are. 

Children Need to Learn Good Habits

The immediate effects of sun damage, such as sunburns to the eye, often go unnoticed, especially by children. Therefore, unlike a serious and painful sunburn to the skin which can serve as a learned deterrent, the risks and results of eye damage are less obvious. Children need to be taught about the importance of wearing sunglasses. This starts with a good example set by parents who should wear sunglasses every time they go outside. Purchasing a good pair of properly protective sunglasses that are comfortable and fit your child, and encouraging their use and care are also essential. 

Selecting Sunglasses for Kids

UV protection is available in some clear lenses as well as sunglasses. The choice can be confusing if you do not have some background information. Not all lenses are equal in terms of UV protection. For example cheaply made UV400 sunglasses have a spray-on coating that can wear off with cleaning and give you a false sense of security.  Also lens distortion and poor frame quality of discount sunwear may cause eyestrain. Ophthalmic quality lenses that provide UV protection and crisp optics should be made to last with good warranties to back up problems that can occur.

There is a plethora of options for children’s sunglasses and a good pair doesn’t need to break the bank. The first and most important criterion is that the lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. You may want to also consider impact resistant polycarbonate lenses for more durability. For smaller children, look for adjustable sunglasses or a pair that includes a strap to keep the glasses in place. Inviting your child to shop with you will help ensure that the glasses are comfortable, fit right and that the child will like them, which can definitely increase the likelihood of the child agreeing to wear them as needed. 

TSO Allen is Moving to a New Location December 1st

We will be moving within the same Watters Creek Shopping Center to 918 Watters Creek Blvd (next to Anthropologie) starting Dec 1st.

Please note: We will be closed Thursday-Monday, November 26th -November 30th for Thanksgiving. We will open at our new location on Tuesday, December 1st.

Wishing you a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving!