Healthy Body, Healthy Eyes! How Staying Fit and Active Helps Preserve Vision

Maintaining a healthy overall lifestyle is the best way to ensure healthy vision for the long term. Here is why keeping fit and active can help you keep your eyes strong. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

What is the best way to keep your eyes healthy? Getting plenty of sleep, avoiding eye strain, and vigilant ultraviolet sunlight protection are important factors, but regular exercise and staying active might be the very best strategy for preserving eye health for a variety of reasons.

Staying fit helps prevent chronic health conditions that compromise vision.

A sedentary lifestyle contributes to numerous health issues that affect vision in the long term. High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes can all put you at significant risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Regular, vigorous exercise is one of the best strategies for fighting the above degenerative illnesses and obesity. When paired with a healthy diet, consistent exercise can reduce your risk of developing ocular conditions, such as macular degeneration, by as much as 70 percent. Overall cardiovascular health helps reduce the risk of glaucoma by approximately 25 percent.

Staying active doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym every day, either. Taking regular walks around the neighborhood can help preserve heart health and maintain optimal circulation. There are also fun ways of staying fit, such as taking dance lessons, playing a sport, learning self-defense or taking martial arts classes, where you break a sweat without realizing you’re exercising!

While staying fit is great for keeping yourself healthy and your vision sharp, it’s important to get regular eye examinations, which can identify eye abnormalities and health conditions before they become problematic. This is important even if you don’t require prescription vision correction. Regardless of whether you wear glasses, make sure to schedule an appointment for an eye check annually.

OptiExpress is a full-service eye care center, offering optometry services in addition to a wide selection of designer eyewear and a one-hour onsite lab, where you can have your corrective lens prescription filled during your lunch break!

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington was voted leading optometrist in Ft. Myers for three years running, and has practiced in South Florida for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

Glaucoma – What You Need to Know to Maintain Your Vision

Glaucoma is an eye disorder that can progress to vision loss if left unaddressed. Here’s what you should know about the condition so that you can protect your eye health for the long term. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

It is estimated that over three million Americans have some stage of glaucoma, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Unfortunately, only approximately half of the number of people with glaucoma have had a formal diagnosis, meaning that a startling number of people will experience partial or total vision loss due to lack of treatment.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an ocular condition that must be diagnosed by an eye care professional in its early stages, since initial symptoms are often unnoticeable. Over time, if left unaddressed, glaucoma will damage optic nerve fibers, leading to progressively worsening vision and, ultimately, vision loss. One of the reasons why glaucoma sufferers don’t recognize symptoms is due to the fact that the first signs appear as reductions in peripheral vision, and it often starts in a single eye.

There are different types of glaucoma, both of which can lead to vision loss, but each presents itself in different ways. Here are the two types of glaucoma:

  • Open-angle Glaucoma: This form of glaucoma is the most commonly diagnosed, and it generally appears in adults over age 40, though it is occasionally seen in patients in their 30s. The condition involves a disorder of the apparatus that produces and drains fluid from the eyes’ interior chambers between the iris and cornea.

  • Closed-angle Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma – also called narrow-angle glaucoma – occurs when fluid collects within the eye, resulting in a build-up of pressure behind the iris that causes a variety of symptoms, including pain, nausea, and vomiting. This is a potentially very serious condition, and should be addressed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately.

Fortunately, both open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma can be successfully treated, particularly when caught early. It’s important to have regular eye exams not only to check for vision abnormalities, but also eye and overall health concerns, too.

OptiExpress provides complete eye care services, including eye exams, to the South Florida community. If you have concerns about your eye health or believe you need corrective lenses, please schedule an appointment at our Cape Coral or Ft. Myers locations for an eye exam.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

Is Your Vision Blurry, Even While Wearing Glasses? Here’s Why

It’s not uncommon to experience blurred vision after getting a pair of corrective lenses. Here are a few reasons why you might be having blurry vision even when wearing your new glasses. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

If you’re frustrated because your brand-new prescription glasses don’t seem to be working – if you’re experiencing blurry vision after putting them on for the first time – don’t worry. There are several reasons why your vision isn’t adjusting to the new corrective lenses properly.

Your brain needs time to adjust.

It is extremely common to have blurred vision after putting on a new pair of corrective lenses, and it is likely a sign that your eyes are adjusting to their new reality. Remember, your eyes are used to processing information differently, and the blurring is simply a form of compensation that will quickly recalibrate after wearing corrective lenses consistently.

Your frames aren’t the best fit.

The way your glasses sit on your face is a big factor in your eyes’ ability to adjust to correction. This is particularly true if you’re used to wearing glasses of a certain shape or size. When you change that shape and/or size, your eyes have to adjust to a different lens curvature and sometimes a different distance from the lens to the eye. You can check whether the shape of the frames is the culprit by positioning the glasses on your face in different ways. If you notice that your vision becomes clear when you hold the lenses a certain distance from your face, you can check with your optician to see if your glasses can be restructured.

Your prescription is incorrect.

If the blurriness persists after a day or two, the culprit may be an incorrect prescription, which occurs less often than the other two issues but still happens on occasion. This could be due to an issue with transcribing the prescription order or a problem during manufacturing. If you suspect the prescription could be at fault, contact your eye care professional to double-check the prescription, and perhaps undergo another eye exam.

OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye health services, from thorough eye exams to contact lens fittings. If you are experiencing blurred vision due to any of the above issues or if you suspect something more serious, please don’t hesitate to contact our Cape Coral or Ft. Myers, Florida eye care centers for an evaluation.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is widely considered one of Ft. Myers’s top eye care specialists, having practiced in South Florida for over two decades. To schedule an appointment for an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

The Evolution of Eyewear – How Glasses Have Changed Through the Decades

Fashion trends come, go, and come back again, and eyewear trends have proven to be just as variable. Here is a retrospective of the different eyewear fashions that dominated the eras throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

Although eyewear serves a practical purpose – correcting imperfect vision and protecting eyes from damaging ultraviolet rays – it is also a fashion statement. Like all fashions, eyewear designs and trends are reflective of the eras in which they become popular. While earlier decades throughout the 20th century had easily identifiable eyewear styles, today we like to incorporate some of those elements into our modern eyewear choices to create a timeless appeal. Here are a few of the hallmarks of eyewear styles through the decades.

Turn of the 20th century to the 1920s

The beginning of the 20th century ushered in a more egalitarian age of eyewear. Whereas corrective eyewear was largely inaccessible to the underclasses of the 19th century, more efficient manufacturing processes and materials made eyeglasses more affordable and practical. The pince-nez glasses (eyeglasses that had no ear pieces, but were instead worn balanced on the bridge of the nose) and the lorgnettes (glasses with no ear pieces that were held up to the eyes using a long handle) were replaced by spectacles that were held in place with temples and temple tips that anchor to the sides of the face more securely. While there was a bit of variation in the frame styles, the vast majority of frames were round and made of thin metal wire.

1920s to 1930s

Eyewear became more comfortable and was offered in lifestyle-specific designs, such as driving goggles. By the 1930s, there was even more variation with frame styles. Frames became less round, and there was a greater diversity in materials with plastics having recently been invented.

1940s to 1950s

The post-war era saw a robust variety of eyewear fashions, from the iconic women’s cat-eye shape to the browline style that became the hallmark of 1950s erudite masculinity.

1960s to 1970s

While the eyewear fashions from the 1950s continued to be de rigueur in the early-to-mid 1960s, pop artists who embraced the “hippie” aesthetic started to harken back to the 1920s and thirties with small round or rectangular wire-framed “granny” glasses. As the 1960s drew to a close, eyewear had become as radical and psychedelic as the fashion, art, and design of the era. By the 1970s, eyewear had become bigger and bolder, with large geometrically shaped frames and tinted lenses.

1980s to 1990s

By the end of the 20th century, eyewear styles were largely leaning towards previous decades and celebrating the iconic looks of the 50s, 60s, and 70s with a few modern twists. Sports eyewear also began to take off, with highly durable frames favored by athletes becoming standard for the rest of the population.

The 21st Century

While the aesthetic of previous eras is continuing to inform current trends, today we are seeing a greater emphasis on technology that optimizes eyewear, like polarized lenses that reduce glare, blue light blocking features, transition lenses that automatically go from clear to tinted when the wearer heads outdoors, and much more.

At OptiExpress, we offer the latest eyewear fashions using state-of-the-art materials and design elements. Visit our designer eyewear gallery to view our selection.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

4 Fabulous Future Eyewear Trends

Looking for the latest eyewear trends? Here are a few that should be taking the world by storm! From innovative materials to tech-forward features, these glasses offer improved functionality and heightened style. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

Fashions and trends are dynamic, so eyewear styles change and evolve constantly. As technological innovations become more accessible, greater variations in designs and features will begin to appear in all types of eyewear. The following features will certainly start to change the eyewear landscape in the coming seasons.

Blue Light-Blocking Lenses

We’re spending the majority of our waking hours staring at some kind of digital screen. This constant exposure is leading to increases in migraines, disordered sleep, dry eyes, and other discomforts that range from minor to significant. Blue light-blocking lenses offer relief from the barrage of blue light waves from LED screens that can trigger adverse physical responses. These lenses aren’t just for wearing in front of a laptop, TV, or smartphone – they’re designed to be worn everywhere, so you don’t have to switch glasses for different activities.

Activity-Specific Eyewear

Hikers, climbers, bike-riders all have individual eyewear needs, and the eyewear design industry is taking those needs seriously. New technology allows for eyewear design that accommodates a diverse assortment of lifestyles and pursuits. These might include glow-in-the-dark frames, highly resilient shades for rugged terrain activity or contact sports, or eyewear that can float during water activities.

Custom 3D Printed Glasses

We might shortly see a trend of ordering specific, unique eyewear styles that can be produced via 3D printer. Some designers offer 3D design templates that allow customers to print their own eyeglasses and install prescription lenses or sunglass lenses themselves. While this is not yet a widely available feature, as 3D printing technology and materials become more affordable and commonplace, we can expect 3D printed eyewear to become increasingly accessible.

Clip-On Lenses

Clip-on eyeglass lenses are a nostalgic trend for people who enjoy a retro eyewear style. While transition lenses are the 21st century equivalent of clip-on lenses, not everyone can necessarily afford this feature, as the price of transition lenses can range from $100 to $400 in addition to the prescription price. Clip-on lenses are a budget-friendly and fashion-forward alternative.

OptiExpress offers a full gallery of designer eyewear brands that can suit any style. Visit our Cape Coral or Ft/ Myers showrooms and select the best pair for your needs and lifestyle today!

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

Eat with your Eyes – Foods to Avoid for Healthy Vision

A nutritious diet is critical for achieving optimal eye health. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to let junk food dominate our meals, which can lead to significant health issues that affect our vision. Here are a few categories of food you should keep off of your plate to ensure strong and healthy vision for the long-term. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

We know that it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods to enjoy peak physical health. We also know that limiting our diets to highly processed, caloric, low-nutrition foods makes us susceptible to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other preventable illnesses. However, many of us aren’t necessarily aware of how an unhealthy diet compromises our vision. Here are a few of the types of foods we should severely limit to keep our eyes healthy.

High-sodium foods.

Excessive amounts of sodium raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and also type 2 diabetes. All of these medical conditions take a toll on eye health. High blood pressure increases risk of retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss.

It can be very easy to eat excessive amounts of sodium if your diet consists of processed convenience foods – even ones that seem healthy. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of American’s sodium intake comes from processed convenience foods and foods eaten at restaurants. When you cook food at home from scratch, you end up eating significantly less salt.

Sugary foods and beverages.

Most of our sugar intake comes from beverages – soda, juices, and soft drinks. However, sugar from desserts and candy should also be avoided. Sugary foods, and especially foods with high fructose corn syrup, contribute to the extremely high incidences of type 2 diabetes in the U.S.

If you’re a sugary soda drinker, switch to water with cucumber slices, which is refreshing and contains healthful antioxidants, too.

Also, don’t think that diet sodas are a healthy replacement for regular sodas. Diet sodas have been shown to contribute to insulin spikes and metabolic syndrome, and might put you at risk of diabetic blindness.

Saturated fats.

Overindulgence in saturated fats – animal fats, margarine, and dairy fat – can lead to a variety of health conditions. Some studies link macular degeneration to the consumption of dietary fats. Reduce your overall fat intake, and switch to healthy fats high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, like avocados, olive oil, and canola oil.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is widely considered one of Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists, having practiced in South Florida for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.