Posted by: tiffanyakraus | August 30, 2015

UV Rays and Aging Around the Eyes

“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
― Maya Angelou

Some people do it more gracefully than others do. Many people have a problem with aging around their eyes. This can come in the form of puffiness and wrinkles that make a person look worn out and not retain their youthful glow.

One of the biggest factors for this type of aging is the amount of UV radiation that the skin is exposed to. The EPA says, “up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun…most premature aging of the skin can be avoided.”

In previous blogs, we have told you how to block out UV rays with sunglasses labeled UV 400 and wide brimmed hats. There are other ways to stop sun damage, and it is never too late to do so.

Wearing sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater when you go outside is one of the best ways to stop skin damage around your eyes and elsewhere. You can use a regular SPF lotion or one of the many foundations and concealers that include SPF in their formula. BB and CC creams are great for this. They even out skin tone while providing SPF protection and moisturize the skin.

Moisturizing is another important way to stop aging around the eyes. Skin around your eyes is the thinnest anywhere else on your body and does not have as many oil glands as other areas. Adding a moisturizer to your nighttime routine can help with this battle.

What you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it when it comes to aging. Per WebMD, “Antioxidants like vitamin C and E, as well as vitamin A and the B vitamin biotin, are particularly important for healthy skin.” This means eating fresh fruit and vegetables with every meal and including a multivitamin like Oculair in your daily routine. A big spinach salad with tomatoes, carrots, and grapes for lunch can go a long way in ensuring the skin around your eyes and elsewhere stays subtle, smooth, and healthy.

There are many things out to get us; by using the above knowledge, aging doesn’t have to be one of them.

About the author: Tiffany Kraus is a territory sales manager for Amcon Labs who writes in her spare time. Unfortunately, there is no MD behind her name. The above information is just that, information. For medical advice please ask a medical professional.


Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | August 21, 2015

The aging eye

Originally posted on COA Vision:

Image courtesy of Sohrab  Gollogly website at Image courtesy of Sohrab
Gollogly website at

Age is never a diagnosis. Although certain eye conditions may become more common with increasing age, you should not assume that they cannot be corrected. It can be confusing for a patient to know what part of the normal aging process is correctable and what is not. In this article we hope to clear up some of the most common symptoms of the aging eye.

Eyelid Changes

Collagen and elastin in the eyelids breaks down as we age. These substances keep our skin smooth and elastic. As these tissues begin to break down and gravity takes hold, a series of normal changes take place.

The lower eyelids may become lose and a loss of fat may cause the eyes to appear to “sink in”. The loosening of the lower eyelid may result in the eyelid turning outward (ectropion) or inward (entropion), resulting…

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Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | August 13, 2015


Originally posted on arovin' with rollie stenson:

Because I love to ride, I encourage others to use bicycles to get around town or get a little exercise or just have fun. Many people hesitate to join me because of the stigma created by “avid” cyclists dressed in colorful, tight-fitting  lycra, helmets, and the crazy shoes that make walking hilariously awkward.   Others are simply uncomfortable on a bicycle saddle; others are concerned about being on the road and in the traffic. Some mistakenly believe you have to be in good shape to ride a bicycle. A common excuse for not riding is they need “the right bike “.  One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “What kind of bike you have? “

I think this question is intended to find out how how fancy and expensive my bike is. The high cost of a “toy” like a bicycle (or a fishing boat or a motorcycle)may indicate…

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Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | August 9, 2015

Contact Lens Care – What To Do & What Not To Do

Contact lenses are a wonderful and convenient option for those individuals who do not want to deal with glasses. However, if you don’t practice good contact lens care it can lead to eye infections such as keratitis. Here are some do’s and don’ts for contact lens wearers.

  • DO wash and dry your hands before touching your contact lenses. Use and optical hand soap such as Vista Prep®.

vista prep combo

  • DON’T sleep in your contact lenses unless your doctor says it’s okay.
  • DO regularly clean your contact lenses with multi-purpose solution. Amcon offers Good Sense® and Bausch & Lomb Renu® Fresh™ Multi-Purpose solutions. multipurpose
  • DON’T swim or shower in your contact lenses. Water contains amoebas that can get trapped between the lens and the eye. This can lead to irritation, infections and even blindness.DO replace your contact lens case every 3 months as recommended by the CDC.
  • DON’T wear someone else’s contact lenses. Their prescription bay be different and exchanging lenses can spread bacteria.
  • DO carry a pair of glasses with you in case you need to remove your contact lenses.
  • DON’T wear your contacts for longer than the recommended amount of time. Amcon sells Digicase Digital Contact Lens Case Reminder Cases that have a 15 or 30 day timer to remind you when it’s time to change your lenses.


  • DO visit your eye care provider at least once a year to ensure your contacts are the right prescription and that your eyes are healthy.
  • DON’T use water or saliva to clean your lenses.

For more information about contact lens care, consult an Eye Care Professional.

AOA_ContactLenses_Infographic_2014 (1)

Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | August 2, 2015

Using Technology to Combat Motion Sickness

If you’ve ever experienced motion sickness you know that it can cause nausea, sweating and headaches. But did you know what exactly causes it? WebMD tells us “You get motion sickness when one part of your balance-sensing system (your inner ear camera.gif, eyes, and sensory nerves) senses that your body is moving, but the other parts don’t.” There are several ways to deal with it including OTC medicines (such as Dramamine) and patches that go behind the ear. Now there is a new option for travelers…Anti Motion Sickness Glasses. “XPAND is a global immersive digital imaging technologies company that has been consistently delivering tour-de-force disruptive innovations through visionary technology development.” ( XPAND recently developed these glasses to help minimize motion sickness. To find out more, visit the article featured in Vision Monday.

Using Technology to Combat Motion Sickness.

Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | July 22, 2015

A Science Fair and Amblyopia

Originally posted on The VisionHelp Blog:

By now many of you have seen the adorable video about a young child who looks forward to seeing her eye doctor.

Well yesterday I had a first-in-my-career experience, a positive sign-of-the-times in many ways.  A 10 year-old girl who received her first prescription for high bilateral hyperopia and astigmatism at around 14 months of age, and underwent patching as the sole treatment for amblyopia, decided to do her science fair project on the subject.  After all, it was personal – and she delved into it in detail.  In the course of discovering information online, she learned much more about amblyopia and its treatment possibilities than what her parents had been presented with by her pediatric ophthalmologist.  She understood that while her doctor had done a great job at the level at which he treated her, there was apparently much more to amblyopia than how well she could read…

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Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | July 16, 2015

A Brief History of Contact Lenses

Originally posted on Amcon GAZEtte:

A Glass Contact Lens

Last weekend an impromptu overnight visit to my parent’s house resulted in me wearing my contact lenses all night. Normally i am vigilant about removing my contacts for overnight disinfection and storage. Surprisingly, though, when I work up, my eyes didn’t feel that bad, and I actually didn’t bother to take them out for the rest of the day.

Wearing my contacts all night is something I could have never done a few generations of contacts ago, which makes me think that contacts must have improved significantly since I started wearing them in the late 1980s.

If we look a bit farther back, we can really see an evolution of the contact lens.  While the concept for the contact lens was first conceived in 1508 by Leonardo di Vinci, (yes, the artist),  it wasn’t until 379 years later that one was actually made and tested.  The first…

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Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | July 12, 2015

Animal Vision – Who Has The Best?

St. Louis is fortunate to have a wonderful zoo with free admission. I love their slogan “Who’s watching who at the St. Louis Zoo?” Did you ever wonder which animals have the best vision? Scientists estimate that there are as many as 10 million species of animals on Earth. These are some of my favorites that have exceptional vision.



Dragonflies can see many more colors and details than humans due to their increased number of light sensitive proteins called opsins.They can also see UV light and have polarized vision.

Most insects have multifaceted eyes and dragonflies have the most at an estimated 30,000. Each one of these creates its own image. They have an almost spherical view.

Mantis Shrimp

mantis shrimp 2Many scientists refer to the mantis shrimp as having the most advanced eyesight of all creatures.

Humans have 3 color receptive cones. The mantis shrimp has 16.

“Each eye possesses trinocular vision and depth perception” Wikipedia

Like dragonflies, they can see UV wavelengths and have polarized vision.

Birds of Prey

bald-eagle_1_600x450Birds of Prey, such as eagles, hawks and falcons, have especially large eyes which let in a lot of light and give a large view. Birds of prey also have a lot of receptors which maximize visual acuity. They have both a central and lateral fovea (most other animals have only one).

Birds focus on their target by changing the curvature of their eyes. They have great binocular vision because of the placement of their eyes.

Predatory birds such as eagles and hawks have the largest and most elaborate pecten of all the birds. The pecten supplies nutrients and oxygen throughout the vitreous humour of the eye, thereby reducing the number of blood vessels in the retina. With fewer blood vessels to scatter light coming into the eye, raptor vision has evolved to be the sharpest vision known among all organisms. (


chameleon“The chameleon’s specialized vision and a specialized tongue-projection system permit the capture of insects and even birds from a distance. The chameleon’s eyes are very good at detecting and regulating light. The lens of a chameleon’s eye is capable of focusing extremely rapidly, and it can enlarge visual images much like a telephoto lens.” (

Four Eyed Fish

4 eyed fish“Despite their name, four eyed fish have only two eyes. However, these eyes are divided by a band of tissue and each half of the eye has a pupil of its own. This bizarre adaptation allows the four eyed fish to see perfectly (and at the same time) both above and below the waterline, scanning for both prey and predators.

The upper half of the eyeball is adapted to vision in air, while the lower half is adapted to underwater vision. Although both halves of the eye use the same lens, the thickness and curve of the lens is different in the upper and lower eye halves, thus correcting for the different behavior of light in air and water. This means that when the four eyed fish is completely submerged, the upper halves of the eyes are out of focus. Fortunately, the fish spends almost its entire life in the surface, and it only has to dive completely once in a while to prevent the upper halves of the eyes from dehydrating.” (

Posted by: courtneygrapperhaus | July 5, 2015

LASIK – A Quick Overview

Recently here in St. Louis we have been getting a lot of rain and hot temperatures. My glasses seem like they are constantly foggy or wet and I have to clean them several times a day. I tried wearing contact lenses before but I didn’t really like them. Many people around the world struggle with the same problems I do and about “40% of Americans who wear glasses” have considered LASIK (

So, how did LASIK come to be, what is it, and is it a good idea?

History (courtesy of Wikipedia)

In 1980, Rangaswamy Srinivasan, at the IBM Research laboratory, discovered that an ultraviolet excimer laser could etch living tissue, with precision and with no thermal damage to the surrounding area. Marguerite B. MacDonald MD performed the first human VISX refractive laser eye surgery in 1989.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commenced a trial of the excimer laser in 1989. In 1992, under the direction of the FDA, Greek ophthalmologist Ioannis Pallikaris introduced LASIK to ten VISX centres. In 1998, the “Kremer Excimer Laser”, serial number KEA 940202, received FDA approval for its singular use for performing LASIK.[83] Subsequently, Summit Technology was the first company to receive FDA approval to mass manufacture and distribute excimer lasers. VISX and other companies followed.[83]

Since 1991, there have been further developments such as faster lasers; larger spot areas; bladeless flap incisions; intraoperative corneal pachymetry; and “wavefront-optimized” and “wavefront-guided” techniques. However, use of the excimer laser risks damage to the retina and optic nerve. The goal of refractive surgery is to avoid permanently weakening the cornea with incisions and to deliver less energy to the surrounding tissues.

The Bausch & Lomb Technolas 217Z Excimer LaserLASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis”. There are 2 parts to LASIK surgery:  flap creation and corneal reshaping. The surgeon creates a flap using a laser or blade. This flap is lifted and then the surgeon uses and excimer laser to reshape your cornea (specifically the stroma layer). After the surgery is complete the flap will be replaced.

LASIK recovery time is low and most patients return to normal activities the day after surgery. Most of a patient’s normal vision is returned within several hours, but it can take several months to reach 100%. As with any medical procedure, there are some potential risks including infection, dry eyes, and halos.

About 80% of the adult population is a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Many of them share key traits

* Age 18 and older

* Have a common vision problem (e.g. astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness)

* Lead active lifestyles

* Cannot or prefer not to wear glasses and/or contact lenses

* Are in general good health

LASIK eye surgery ranges in cost depending on your location, provider, and insurance discounts. To determine if you are a candidate for LASIK, you can schedule a consultation with a provider of your choice. Many offer these at no cost.

Also check out our previous posts on LASIK:

Getting LASIK? Consider how your contacts and glasses have protected your eyes.

How do LASIK & other eye surgeries effect dry eye?

LASIK surgery and its effect on the contact lens industry

Considering LASIK surgery? Sites that might scare you

FDA Looks at LASIK

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