In May of 2018, Uptown EyeCare celebrated its 10th anniversary serving the NW Portland Community under Dr. Zuzana Friberg’s ownership. Over ten years ago, Dr. Friberg had a vision of creating a local neighborhood optometry practice, where personalized eye care services and customized high-quality optical products would meet their best in customer service. After a decade of reflection, we think we are on the right track to follow her dreams! We would like to thank all Uptown EyeCare's patrons for their amazing loyalty and support, and we look forward to serving the community for the next decade to come!
At the beginning of this year, we focused our energy on finishing some interior and exterior practice projects, and we re-designed our website. The hardworking crew of SignCraft Signs replaced our exterior signage with two new LED signs. Our building changed colors from mustard to teal, and we added small energy efficient exterior lights for extra visibility. Dynamic Designs NW re-designed our interior marketing and dispensing materials, so we could start dispensing glasses and contact lenses in style! We also added acrylic panels to divide our optical and waiting room and to give our optical a little modern flair.
To support our neighborhood community, Uptown EyeCare has been a proud local sponsor of Chapman Elementary’s new playground, which was built at the beginning of the 2018 school year. We hope to contribute to their stage 2 project in the very near future.
As always, we look forward to serving our community with the best eye care and optical services, and we invite you to learn what is new in our field in this annual newsletter! To have instant news from us, follow us on ourFacebook page, where we try to post interesting topics from our eyeball world!
We hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and we wish you a peaceful Holiday Season!
2) ADD SOME COLOR TO YOUR LIFE Uptown EyeCare is thrilled to announce new Transitions photochromic lenses to add some color to your next pair of fun specs! see NEW TRANSITIONS below...
3) CONTROLLING MYOPIA AND CHANGING LIVES Once considered a children's vision issue, myopia (nearsightedness) is now considered a major health issue. Myopia affects 1/4 of the world's population, including kids as young as 6, and is rising at an alarming rate! see THE GROWING MYOPIA EPIDEMIC below...
4) ENDING THE BLUE LIGHT BLUES What is blue light? Does it have a dark side? Learn more about how you can protect your eyes from blue light in this article. see BLUE LIGHT below...
When most people think of Transitions brand lenses, they think of "the lenses that get dark outside and light inside". Although that is correct, Transitions lenses are so much more!
When Transitions brand lenses hit the optical industry in 1990, it gave people the option of a lighter weight plastic lens with photochromic properties and a safer material than glass to wear near their eyes. This was just the first of many advances in photochromic lens technology. Today’s new Transitions lenses make the originals look like ancient history!
For starters, did you know Transitions are now available in multiple color options? Transitions Signature, which is the most up-to-date version of the classic design, is not only available in the traditional colors of Gray, Brown and Graphite Green, but is now available in fashion colors. Sapphire, Amethyst, Amber, and Emerald are for the individual looking for a photochromic lens with a personal touch. You can match the color of your lenses to your frame, or create some fun contrast to make your own eyewear statement!
Transitions XTRActive, which darkens more effectively behind a windshield and feels like a "true sunglass", has new offerings as well. It is now available with flash mirror finishes. You can take your driving glasses to a new level of style with Green, Blue, Gold, Red, Pink or Silver Shadow flash mirror coatings that are clear when the lens tint is not activated. Transitions XTRActive are available in gray and brown base tints, so we recommend matching your mirror coat to its base color. Blue and Silver Shadow work best with grey lenses. Gold, Red, and Pink work best with brown lenses. Green works with both. But if you want to personalize it, you can mix and match the base color of lens with any of the mirror coatings. It's really about what look you want to create.
Transitions Vantageis the only offering in a polarized photochromic lens. Polarized lenses reduce glare coming from watery or bright surfaces. Traditionally, polarized lenses are always dark. Having the option of polarization in a photochromic lens is a great option for people who love to spend their time outdoors, but want to wear the same pair of glasses indoors and after dark.
Fashion is the fun part, but function is where it's at! Transitions XTRActive and Transitions Signature also aid in blocking harmful blue light! Outdoors, both styles block up to 85% of harmful blue light rays, while indoors Transitions XTRActive blocks 34% and Transitions Signature block approximately 20% of blue light. This is a prime reason for children to wear Transitions lenses as well. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day looking at screens, compared to about six hours for 8 - 12 year olds, and 50 minutes for kids ages 0 - 8. That's a lot of time staring at a blue light emitting screen! (For more information about harmful blue light, check out our "Ending the Blue Light Blues" article.)
All of these options are available in many lens designs, including today's best progressive lenses. So whether it's adding some fun to your style, or function to your fashion, make Transitions part of your next lens package!
In the United States, myopia’s prevalence rate has increased from 25% to 42% in the past 50 years. Worldwide, the highest rates are found in Asian populations, approaching 96% in some regions. Significant increases have occurred within just one generation, which implies that our environment has a significant effect on myopic development, even if there is an underlying genetic component.
Myopia less severe than -6.00D is often termed physiological myopia and has historically been perceived merely as a nuisance to the patient. However, research recently showed that myopia is a dose-dependent risk factor for many ocular diseases, such as glaucoma, myopic maculopathy, cataract and retinal detachment. Levels of myopia in the physiological range show a risk of cataract and glaucoma comparable to that of stroke from untreated hypertension. Myopia was shown to be a risk factor for retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy “far in excess of any identified population risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”
Treatment Options 1. Atropine. Recent reports show that atropine in dosages as low as 0.01% once a day has a clinically meaningful ability to slow myopia by 50% without significant pupil dilation and light sensitivity, and the effect persists after discontinuation of the treatment. Instilling these drops in children’s eyes reduces eye growth and therefore myopia progression. However, there may be children who are poor responders and may need higher atropine concentrations, and therefore need bifocals and sunglasses to be comfortable during the treatment. In our office, this is not our first line of treatment due to potential ocular and systemic side effects (pupil dilation, accommodation lag, allergies, tachycardia, dry eye and mouth, constipation and flushing), but it’s a great treatment option for little kids, or those whose myopia is rapidly progressing.
2. Soft multifocal contact lenses. Several studies in the past decade have shown that wearing soft multifocal contact lenses with distance concentric designs and a +2.00 / +2.50 peripheral add on a daily basis slow down the development of myopia, as well as elongation of the eye by about 30-40%. The lenses work because they focus light in front of the peripheral retina, and they focus light right on the central retina, which provides people with clear vision. Children as young as age 8 can learn how to insert and take care of lenses. This option is good for kids that have higher starting prescriptions, or when orthokeratology may be too difficult to fit. Lenses that we use at our office are Biofinity multifocals /Proclear toric multifocals (monthly replacement), or NaturalVue multifocals (dailies).
3. Orthokeratology treatment. Overnight use of orthokeratology (or "CRT" - Corneal Reshaping Therapy) lenses flattens the central portion of the cornea, therefore providing clear vision during the day without glasses or contact lenses. These lenses work similarly to distance centered soft multifocal contact lens designs, where the peripheral retinal defocus over time slows down the growth of the eyes, which leads to slowed myopia progression. On average, orthokeratology seems to slow the growth of the eye by a little over 40%, which is similar to the slowing of myopia progression reported for soft multifocal lenses and slightly less than atropine. Currently, orthokeratology is our #1 preferred method of myopia progression. We use Paragon CRT lenses for our patients.
Time to Act
Myopia onset usually begins between ages 6-9 and progresses rapidly at the beginning, slowing gradually with age. Early treatment is vital if lifetime benefits are to be achieved.It is our belief that parents, as well as practitioners, should stop accepting myopia progression as normal or at worst an inconvenience to the patient. Myopia is a highly significant risk factor for ocular health, in addition to its negative effects on lifestyle. It is time to use the tools we have available to actually treat myopia as a progressive disease, same as we do with numerous other conditions.
Blue light is everywhere! Stepping outside into the sunlight, or even inside when turning on your lights inside, we are constantly exposed to it. Not all blue light is bad however. The main source of blue light is the sun. Research has shown that visible blue light from the sun boosts attention, alertness, and helps with mood and cognitive function. It is also very important in regulating circadian rhythm during the day and night.
The short-wavelength blue light that we should be concerned about the most emanates from our digital device screens and to some degree energy-efficient light sources, such as LED lights. Although the amount of blue light from screens and light sources is much smaller than from the sun, the reason for concern is the amount of time we are spending exposing our eyes to screens, and the distance of the screens and lights from our eyes. Long term exposure to harmful blue light has been linked to increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, computer eyestrain and sleeplessness.
Even though we can’t completely block harmful blue light from reaching our eyes, we can definitely lower our exposure. New optical products, such as Essilor’s Essential Blue lenses combined with Crizal Prevencia anti-reflective coating block out about 30% of harmful blue light, while simultaneously allowing beneficial blue light to pass through. But wait, it gets better! If Transitions lenses are used, the protection goes up to 85-90% when they are fully activated.
This blue-blocking optical technology is also beneficial in helping to reduce computer eyestrain. Blue light scatters more easily than other forms of visible light, which can cause the visual system to work harder and make our eyes tired. Older manufacturers of blue light blocking computer lenses had lens designs with a brownish or yellowish tint, which were aesthetically unappealing. The new Essential Blue lenses have color neutralizing molecules which allow the lenses to absorb blue light, but still remain clear, making the lenses more visually pleasing.
Another lens design that incorporates blue light protection on the market, also from Essilor, is incorporated in Eyezen lenses. These lenses are digitally designed, so they provide edge to edge clarity, while at the same time giving a small bump in prescription at the bottom of the lens that makes it easier to see up close. Along with blue light protection, the extra plus at near reduces eyestrain when looking down at digital devices, such as phones and tablets. Hence, not only Eyezen lenses help to protect our eyes against harmful blue light, they also help the visual system to relax, allowing for less eyestrain and discomfort, and clearer vision.
Research also suggests that dietary carotenoids may help strengthen the eye’s natural ability to block blue light. The eye has its own blue-light shield—it’s called the retinal pigment epithelium, a thin layer of cells in the retina – which acts as a filter for blue-wavelength light. The cells of this layer contain carotenoids, which we absorb through our diet. Carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin, are available from dietary sources such as yellow, red and green leafy veggies and from supplements, such as Macuhealth. Carotenoids help protect the eye against macular degeneration, as well as against the unwanted stimulating effects of blue light exposure at the wrong times.
To make a difference between light exposure that is healthful and harmful, we recommend to adopt everyday healthy habits and use the latest optical technology to protect our eyes. Therefore, remember to:
Get plenty of light exposure throughout the day from the sunlight.
Get enough carotenoids in your diets, or take a supplement.
Decrease the time you spend at your digital devices, especially before going to bed. At night, keep screens away from your face. Remember, the degree and intensity of artificial and blue light exposure matter. Therefore, try not to use your digital devices 2-3 hours prior to sleep.
Protect your eyes by looking thru the latest technology blue-blocking lenses (such as Essilor's Essential Blue Series or EyeZen lenses and/or Provencia AR coating).
Use blue light filtering computer software (such as Fluxand/or Irison computers, and NightShift on iphones).
We encourage our newest contact lens wearers to watch this informative contact lens insertion and removal educational video.
Before handling your lenses, always wash your hands with a soap that is free of deodorant, perfume and oil. Liquid soaps are often too oily for contact lens wearers. For those who wear makeup and contact lenses always put your contact lenses in first before applying makeup and take them out before removing eye makeup.
If your contact lenses become contaminated while being worn (drop them on the counter, dirt gets in your eye, ect.) remove and disinfect. Disinfect your lenses after each wear by rubbing the surfaces of the contacts for a few seconds with solution. Never use saline.Saline doesn’t kill bacteria or viruses.
The best way to keep your contact lens case clean is to wash it with the recommended solution, not water. Wipe the case dry with a clean towel or let it air dry completely. Remember to replace your contact lens case every 3 months. Do not re-use your solution. All the debris and bacteria that are in your eyes and contact lenses come off into the solution, so if you re-use the same solution over and over that means you’re letting your contact lenses stew in a bacteria-ridden pool. Recycling solution is like begging for an eye infection! Use the solution recommended by your eye care provider, using off-brand solution is like playing roulette. Stores that sell their own brands get them from other companies, so you don’t really know what you’re getting.
Wear your contact lenses for the time frame they are designed for. For example, if you have a 2-week contact lens that means the lens is good for 14 days from the time you OPEN that lens package NOT 14 days of wear. After that time period the lens and surface start to break down and take on protein, mucus and bacteria that normally hangs out with us on our eyelids and this can lead to infection.
Do not sleep in your contact lenses. Sleeping with contacts in your eyes severely limits oxygen transmission, which can lead to your contact lenses tightening on your eye and poor, toxic tear film exchange. This can cause microscopic rips to the cornea and if there’s a microorganism also in your eye, infection and inflammation will likely happen, causing a corneal ulcer or a contact lens associated red eye.
Accept that there will be times when you will not be able to wear your contacts. Many physical, personal, environmental and emotional factors can prevent comfortable or safe contact lens wear which is why it is important to have back up glasses. Remember, your eyes should always look good, feel good and see goodwhile wearing your contacts, so when in doubt, take them out and wear your glasses!
The end of the year is approaching quickly. What better way to get ready for another year than resolving to have your best possible vision? Health Savings Accounts (HSA) & Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) have only a limited amount of time for you to spend your hard earned pre-tax money.
Don’t forget that eyewear is considered a medical device and can be paid for with these types of accounts! It’s a great time to get that pair of glasses you’ve had your eye on, or a new pair of sunglasses so you are ready for the spring. It’s even a perfect time to invest in additional pairs of glasses so you can expand your eyeglass wardrobe! Need more contacts? Don’t worry, your HSA/FSA account will cover those as well! If your prescriptions have expired, now is the perfect time to come in and have all of your eyewear needs taken care of. Call us at 503-228-3838 to schedule your annual eye exam. While you are here utilizing your HSA/FSA account, don’t forget to bring your existing pairs of glasses to have them adjusted.
Every three to four months your glasses should be tightened and adjusted so we can keep them in tip top shape! Our ABO Certified Opticians are here 5 days a week to help with all of your adjustment needs.
Wishing You Peace, Love & Joy This Season and a Very Happy New Year in 2019!