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Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Should Know

As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, health professionals are demanding that people limit their personal risk of contracting the virus by thoroughly washing their hands, practicing social distancing, and not touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that the eyes play an important role in spreading COVID-19.

Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out. These droplets can easily enter your body through the mucous membranes on the face, such as your nose, mouth, and yes — your eyes.

But First, What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes mild to severe respiratory illness associated with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Those with acute cases of the virus can develop pneumonia and other life-threatening complications.

Here’s what you should know:

Guard Your Eyes Against COVID-19

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Although we all engage in this very normal habit, try to fight the urge to touch your eyes. If you absolutely must, first wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Tears carry the virus. Touching tears or a surface where tears have fallen can spread coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throughout the day as well.
  • Disinfect surfaces. You can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, such as a door knob, and then touching your eyes.

Coronavirus and Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, refers to an inflammation of the membrane covering the front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, watery, and itchy eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, too.

According to a recent study in China, viral conjunctivitis may be a symptom of COVID-19. The study found conjunctival congestion in 9 of the 1,099 patients (0.8%) who were confirmed to have coronavirus.

If you suspect you have pink eye, call your eye doctor in Winnipeg right away. Given the current coronavirus crisis, we ask patients to call prior to presenting themselves to Village Optical, as it will allow our team to assess your condition and adequately prepare for your visit.

Contact Lenses or Eyeglasses?

Many people who wear contact lenses are thinking about switching to eyeglasses for the time being to lower the threat of being infected with coronavirus.

Wearing glasses may provide an extra layer of protection if someone coughs on you; hopefully that infected droplet will hit the lens and not your eye. However, one must still be cautious, as the virus can reach the eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms around your frames. Unlike specialized safety goggles, glasses are not considered a safe way to prevent coronavirus. Village Optical carries safety glasses (in prescription or non-prescription), which are approved for eye protection against coronavirus.

Contact Lenses and COVID-19

If you wear contacts, make sure to properly wash your hands prior to removing or inserting them. We recommend ordering a 1 year supply of contact lenses and solution to reduce the need for frequent visits; we provide home delivery of contact lenses and solutions.

Don’t switch your contact lens brand or solution, unless approved by your optometrist.

Regularly Disinfect Glasses

Some viruses such as coronavirus, can remain on hard surfaces from several hours to days. This can then be transmitted to the wearer’s fingers and face. People who wear reading glasses for presbyopia should be even more careful, because they usually need to handle their glasses more often throughout the day, and older individuals tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. Gently wash the lenses and frames with warm water and soap, and dry your eyeglasses using a microfiber cloth.

Stock up on Eye Medicine

It’s a good idea to stock up on important medications, including eye drops, in order to get by in case you need to be quarantined or if supplies run short. This may not be possible for everyone due to insurance limitations. If you cannot stock up, make sure to request a refill as soon as you’re due and never wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy.

It is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications.

Digital Devices and Eyestrain

At times like this, people tend to use digital devices more than usual. Take note of tiredness, sore eyes, blurry vision, double vision or headaches, which are symptoms of computer vision syndrome if they are exacerbated by extensive use of digital devices, and might indicate a need for a new prescription in the near future. This usually isn’t urgent, but if you’re unsure, you can call our eye doctor’s office.

Children and Digital Devices

During this time your children may end up watching TV and using computers, tablets and smartphones more frequently and for more extended periods too. Computer vision syndrome, mentioned above, can affect children as well. We recommend limiting screen time to a maximum of 2 hours per day for children, though it’s understandably difficult to control under the circumstances.

Try to get your child to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, and stop all screen time for at least 60 minutes before sleep.

Children and Outdoor Play

Please follow local guidelines and instructions regarding outdoor activities for your children. If possible, it’s actually good for visual development to spend 1-2 hours a day outside.

 

From all of us at Village Optical in Winnipeg, we wish you good health and please stay safe.

How to Keep Glasses from Getting Foggy

Whether you live in a cold climate or have visited one in the winter, you have probably seen someone who just walked in from the cold outdoors sporting glasses that are no longer transparent, or perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself.

Why Do Glasses Fog Up?

There are several factors that cause your glasses to fog up — one of which is ambient heat, in other words, the actual temperature in your surrounding environment. Eyelashes that touch the lens can cause fogging, as well as tight-fitting frames that touch the cheeks (many plastic frames cause this problem), which impede proper airflow. Lastly, high humidity and the sweat and moisture that accompany overexertion/ exercise can also trigger foggy lenses. 

Ultimately, glasses cloud over due to moisture in the air condensing on the cold surface of your lenses. 

Now that you know the most common reasons why your glasses fog up, it’s time to read about some possible solutions. Below are a few tips to help keep your lenses clear year-round.

4 Tips to Steer Clear of Cloudy Specs 

1. Move Your Glasses Further Away from Your Face

Eyeglasses tend to trap moisture and heat, particularly if they are positioned close to your eyes or face, which increases the buildup of fog on your lenses. Consider adjusting the position of your eyewear by pushing your glasses slightly further down your nose. It will stimulate proper air circulation, thereby reducing fog accumulation.

2. Wear Your Seasonal Accessories Wisely

If the weather cools down, try not to wear too many layers, to prevent overheating and producing sweat, which can make your glasses to fog up more. Wear only the necessary amount of clothing to stay warm. If you’re wearing a scarf, consider one with an open weave or a more breathable material to let the air pass through. 

3. Avoid Abrupt Temperature Changes

Allow your eyewear to acclimate to changes in temperature. If you are moving from an environment that is cold into one which is warm and humid, try to let your glasses adjust accordingly. 

For instance: 

  • As you enter a building, stand in the doorway for a minute or two as the temperature slowly transitions from cool to warm. 
  • When in the car, gradually adjust the heat, particularly when your hands aren’t free to simply remove your glasses and wipe off the fog.

Fogged up glasses are not only irritating but can also be dangerous, especially for those who drive, ski, or operate machinery. So make sure to take the necessary precautions, especially as the weather changes. 

4. Swap Glasses for Contact Lenses

If contacts are an option for you, you might want to wear them on those cold days, to avoid foggy glasses syndrome (yeah, that’s a made-up term).

 

Want to keep your glasses from fogging up? Speak with one of our eyewear specialists. At Village Optical in Winnipeg, we can advise you about a variety of contact lenses, anti-fog treatments and other solutions to help you see clearly— any day. 

Are Over-the-Counter Readers good enough?

Village Optical eye care Winnipeg,Manitoba

If you are over 40, chances are you need reading glasses (or you will soon!).

You can purchase these eyeglasses on your own from a local drugstore, or you can buy prescription glasses from an optical store. What’s the difference?

Features of Over-the-Counter Readers

For starters, generic reading glasses (also known as readers) bought over-the-counter are designed especially for presbyopia. This refers to the age-related condition in which your natural eye lens loses flexibility, making it hard to focus on near objects. These spectacles will not address other visual conditions, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism, as they are constructed from magnifying lenses set into eyeglass frames.

Over-the-counter eyeglasses are typically lower priced and lower quality, especially when compared to the durable, designer frames in our Winnipeg, MI, optical collection. The frames tend to be weaker, and the lenses scratch easily.

Readers also have the exact same prescription in each lens. Therefore, if your vision condition isn’t identical in both eyes, then it may be difficult to focus with these generic glasses.

Yet one distinct advantage of drugstore spectacles is their convenience. If you only need reading glasses occasionally, then this may be an ideal solution for your presbyopia. Wearing them for an extended period, such as reading for hours, may cause eye fatigue and headaches. Yet if you only need to put them on to read the fine print at the bottom of a package, then they can be fine for your requirements.

You can easily buy a few pairs and store them where you need them most! Keep one pair in your desk drawer and another in your bag.

Features of Prescription Reading Glasses

When we craft prescription eyeglasses for you at Village Optical, we follow a precise vision prescription provided by your eye doctor.

To determine this prescription, your eye health and visual acuity will be tested thoroughly by our optomotrists. Your reading spectacles will then be custom-made to match the needs of each eye, respectively. In contrast to the display of generic readers in the drugstore, there’s no limit to the range of lens powers available from our optical store.

Lenses made in a prescription laboratory boast higher quality and sharper clarity. The frames are adjusted to suit your face, and the optical center of the lenses is placed in the ideal position you need for comfortable reading.

You will be able to choose the perfect pair of designer frames from our quality collection, and we’ll fit them with the correct lens powers. We’ll also offer you options such as scratch-resistant and anti-glare coatings.

Can generic readers hurt your eyes? No.

Wearing these over-the-counter glasses may bother your eyes or cause a headache if the prescription isn’t correct, but they will not damage your lasting vision. To ensure that you purchase the right power of lenses, it’s a good idea to have an eye exam from a knowledgeable eye doctor.

Even if you opt not to buy prescription reading glasses from an optical laboratory, a full vision test is the best, most reliable way to find out the magnification that you need!

Call Village Optical on (204) 500-2559 in Winnipeg, Manitoba to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists.

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