Once again Tucson, thank you for voting us Best Eyeglass & Optical Retailer… 5 years in a row!
Oww! You know how it feels when you get a spec of sand in your eye. Imagine a baseball or tennis racket smashing your sunglasses into hundreds of pieces of plastic shrapnel.
You want your child to do well in sports and you want them to be safe. So you get them the best equipment available including sports glasses. But did you know that sports glasses are rated for various sports? What is acceptable for basketball may not give adequate protection when on the baseball field. Injuries do happen, quite frequently. Many eye injuries occur on the basketball court and baseball field. All sports have potential for eye injury. Golf clubs, tennis rackets, or rocks and tree branches while cycling, every sport has its dangers. You might not guess which sport has the fastest moving object, motorized racing aside. It is badminton with shuttlecock speeds of 200+ MPH.
If prescription lenses are going to be put into the frame special considerations must be followed. Sports glass frames are not made the same as dress glasses. The bezel (groove) is deeper with a lip on the back side so that if strong impact occurs the lens will not be forced out the back of the frame. Lens thickness is also important. Dress glasses can use 1.0 mm thick polycarbonate lenses. With sports glasses the minimum thickness should be 2.0 thick polycarbonate.
There are two manufacturing and performance standards used in the U.S. which are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). ASTM F803 is typically used for sports eyewear and covers most ball/stick sports. There can be exceptions. An example is girl’s lacrosse which has set specific standards for that sport. When you are shopping for sports glasses make sure that you advise your eye care professional (ECP) of all sports you or your child may be engaged in so that a frame can be selected that is rated for all the anticipated sports.
One thing to consider, many people wear contact lenses while playing sports thinking they have an edge not wearing glasses. According to a 2010 report from Prevent Blindness America there are an estimated 2.4 million eye injuries in the U.S. annually. Sports account for over 25,000 injuries per year (2014). Younger athletes are still developing and may not have the hand/eye coordination nor the agility of an older player resulting in higher incidences of injuries of all types including the eyes. Some of these eye injuries result in permanent loss of vision in the injured eye. Even if contact lenses are used to correct vision protective eyeglasses are still recommended to prevent injury.
Alvernon Optical carries Progear Eyegaurd sport glasses which have been rated for baseball and all other sports covered by ASTM F803-03. The friendly and knowledgeable ECPs can help you make the right choice for safety and performance. Alvernon Optical has a full range of sports eye glasses. In addition to Progear Eyegaurd we carry WileyX (which are ANSI safety frames), Rudy Project (a favorite with runners and cyclists), and Liberty Shark swim goggles (water and pool activities account for more eye injuries than any other sport).
Need and eye exam? There are independent doctors of optometry at each Alvernon Optical office who can help you have the sharpest vision possible with a thorough eye exam. Most insurances are accepted.
Visit any of the six convenient Alvernon Optical locations today and get the eye protection you deserve to keep you in the game for years to come.
Most of us have seen bifocals. We understand that as a person ages their eyes lose the ability to accommodate (adjust their focus to view close objects). This is the time of life when we begin to wear reading glasses or some form of multifocal, if we need correction for distance and near viewing. When a young child’s prescription calls for a bifocal it is usually for a very different reason and therefore the glasses must be designed and dispensed for the special requirements of the pediatric client.
When a doctor prescribes a bifocal for a child it us often because a child has strabismus. Bifocals are also used for amblyopia and anisometropia. Strabismus is when both eyes do not align simultaneously. One or both eyes will look in an opposing direction. The brain cannot fuse the signals coming from the divergent gazes into one image and will select one eye from which to accept signals and suppress the signals coming from the other. This creates amblyopia or lazy eye. Anisometropia is when there is a significant difference in the refractive power of each eye. Sometimes one eye is hyperopic (far sighted) and the other is myopic (near sighted) sending different image sizes to the brain. Again, the brain has difficulty making one image from these unequal sizes and will chose one eye to use and suppress the signals from the other resulting in lazy eye. The prescribing doctor will prescribe a moderately strong plus lens. Most children are slightly near sighted and adapt to the added plus of the prescription. The stronger power is used to draw the eye to the optical center of the lens. Our eyes are naturally drawn to the optical center which is the point in a lens where the light passes straight through without being deviated by the prismatic effect of the refractive power in the lens. You can imagine it as the lenses having a magnetic effect on the eyes. Both eyes will now be sending signals to the brain that will be used to create one image. The eye that had been suppressed is active and the muscles controlling eye movement are being strengthened and trained. So why the bifocal?
Children usually do not have difficulty accommodating for near viewing. However sometimes one or both eyes will turn inward when looking at near objects (esotropia) and the doctor will prescribe a bifocal to help keep the eyes aligned when reading or other engaged in other close range activities. Because the child does not perceive a focusing problem they are not naturally attracted to looking through the bifocal as an adult is. It is necessary to design the glasses so that the child has no choice but to look through the bifocal. A lined bifocal is used for younger children instead of a no-line progressive bifocal. The reading power in the progressive no-line is much lower in the lens than in the lined bifocal and the child would rarely look that far down. The lined bifocal is placed high, usually bisecting the pupil or placed just below it. This way anytime the child looks down their gaze will be through the bifocal. Many children will unconsciously try to avoid any part of the lens altogether so it is very important that the frame fit the child well and be adjusted properly. The glasses are likely slip some and this must be taken into consideration. With properly designed and fitted glasses the child’s visual system will be kept active at this crucial developmental time. This greatly enhances the child’s ability to learn and develop motor skills.
These types of visual problems are not always easy to detect. School screenings or looking at an eye chart in the pediatrician’s office are not enough to detect them. With an estimated 5% of all children having some type of strabismus it is important to have your child’s eyes examined by an eye doctor as early as possible, certainly before entering school.