Halloween is coming and there is always plenty of scary goings on for eye care practitioners. One of the scariest is decorative or “circle” contact lenses. This time of year, they pop up like pumpkins in costume stores and online, and you don’t need a prescription to buy them - your credit card will do. A quick Google search for “Halloween contact lenses” yielded three costume shops and an online seller in my area on the first of 19 pages of results. I started the purchasing process online for one of the shops and the online seller, and in both cases, got all the way to the checkout without having to verify my prescription. Terrifying!
School in Georgia is back in full swing. We have had the rush of kids needing glasses, wanting to be fit with contacts, and getting their rec specs for sports. There is also the group of kids that never notices a problem, but has either given their parents a reason for concern, or the teachers or school nurses have found an issue and have referred them in for a complete eye exam.
‘Eye Care Everywhere’ is the theme for World Sight Day, Thursday, October 11. World Sight Day is an advocacy and communications call to action from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to promote universal access to vision health care. Based in London, the IAPB is the coordinating organization that leads international efforts in blindness prevention. More than 100 organizations dedicated to eye care make up their membership around the world.
Will it be sunny or cloudy? Probability of rain? The forecast is some of the first data we consult at the start of the day. Based on it, we decide how to dress, whether or not take an umbrella and even consider outdoor plans. Most of the time we ignore the existence or relevance of another index as important and accessible: UV RADIATION.
During a recent vacation in Maine, I was reminded that Mainers view bats – the funny looking, furry, flying kind – rather fondly. Two iron bats adorn the gates outside author Stephen King’s home in Bangor. An entrepreneur in Searsport makes “bat houses” for sale. They are a protected species in Maine, unless they find their way into your attic or eaves. In many visits to that beautiful state, I never found Mainers to be anything but pleasant and practical. So why the apparently odd affinity for creatures most of us view as creepy? Because Maine bat species feed on huge numbers of mosquitoes (the bane of Maine summers) and other pesky flying insects.
My 15 month-old grandson came for a visit recently. He’s a busy little guy – walking (or, rather, running and crashing), chattering and exploring everything. Of course, he loves toys that talk and sing when he pushes the button. After 30 minutes of a squeaky voice singing the same three songs, however, I’ve had it. This visit to grandma’s house was different. Entertainment consisted of a kiddie pool, plastic cups, a squirting rubber ducky, pots and pans, and picture books. He was happy (most of the time), and little did I know that my back-to-basics approach might actually be good for his visual development.
We are in the middle of summer and vacations are in full swing. The first place most people head is the beach. There is a ton of fun to be had with swimming, surfing, fishing, and boating. Of course, the sunscreen and bathing suits are packed. Hopefully everyone has a great, protective pair of sunglasses. Not only does a pair of sunglasses protect the eyes from the direct sun rays and make seeing in the brightness more comfortable, but they can also help protect the eyes from reflections.
While some patients understand and are diligent about returning for additional medical testing the doctor deems necessary, unfortunately, many patients are not as receptive. We recently encountered such a patient. The patient was educated about the importance of returning for additional testing specific to her medical condition, but ignored the doctor’s recommendation. Although the patient was told many times that she had macular changes, she did not return.