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Protecting your eyes from the sun - 0 Comments

Which rays do the sun emit and how much are we exposed to?

The sun emits different light components that consist of visible light, infrared light and ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is what we need to protect ourselves from, especially Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) as they do manage to reach the earth’s surface unlike Ultraviolet C (UVC) rays. Though the atmosphere does its best to protect us - we too have to do our part. 

 

How can the sun affect our eyes?

Just as much as we protect our skin from too much exposure to the sun that can cause sunburn, skin cancer and even wrinkled dull skin, our eyes are equally affected. Too much exposure to UV rays can increase our risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Research has confirmed that UVB light is directly related to the development of cataracts. Furthermore, it can cause tissue elevations on the surface of the eye called pinguecula and pterygia. AND yes! Eye sunburn is real - officially called photokeratitis where the cornea and conjunctiva are affected, it presents with symptoms of eye pain, redness, blurry vision, watery and gritty eye sensation. Too much UV exposure can also cause skin cancers of the eyelids. 

 

The below image is showing a pingecula, which presents as a yellow sometimes transparent raised tissue on the white part of the eye due to excessive and prolonged exposure to the sun.

 

 

The above image is showing a pteryguim which is a tissue growing towards the cornear due to excessive and prolonged exposure of UV rays.



 

How can we protect our eyes from the sun? 

Sunglasses, sunglasses, sunglasses!!! Just as you protect your skin with sunscreen, sunglasses work just the same especially because you can’t apply sunscreen on your eyes right? Your eyes are even more delicate, so sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection would be life-changing for anyone. Wrap-around sunglasses or sunglasses with side panels can help block almost all rays from the sun. 

As an FYI, you are still exposed to UV rays even on a cloudy day as they can penetrate through so avoid looking directly into the sun or exposing yourself more than necessary. 

In summary, investing in a quality pair of UV protective sunglasses is also investing in a healthy pair of eyes. Sunglasses offer sun protection while keeping you cool and styled up as a bonus. Or you can get Torga Optical UV420 blue light protection glasses at a discounted rate.

https://www.torgaoptical.co.za/uv420-blue-light-protection-voucher use this link to redeem your voucher to use in store!

 

 

This blog post was compiled with information provided by Nonhle Nxumalo, a qualifed and registered optometrist. 

No Line Bifocals - The future is here! - 0 Comments

First, what are Bifocals?

These lenses have two different prescriptions in the same lens. A small portion in the lower part of the lens contains the power required to correct your near vision which is generally beneficial for reading and the top part of the lens is for distance vision.


Why no-line (blended) bifocals are better? 

Unlike the normal bifocals where you can see the line on the lens separating the two powers, the new technologically advanced bifocal lenses are smoothened out so that the line is no longer as visible to yourself and people you are interacting with. Some Bifocal wearers feel that the visible Bifocal line creates an appearance of "looking old", so invisible Bifocals can contribute to a younger look. 



What is the difference between no-line bifocals and multifocals?

No-line bifocals allow visual correction for only two distances (far and near). 

While multifocals correct for three distances:
Top part - far distance vision
Middle part - Intermediate and/or computer distance
Bottom part - for near vision, also typically used for reading 


What are the benefits of a no-line bifocal?

- There is no ridge or line on these lenses but still work like normal bifocals
-
Therefore a better cosmetically appealing lens
- They provide wider fields of vision for both far and near distance
- It has a low image jump compared to normal bifocals 
- They're easy to adapt to and; 
- They usually work well for patients who have been struggling to adapt to multifocals


What products are available at Torga Optical?

Better known as the Digital Bifocal, our no-line bifocal lenses are available at all Torga Optical branches. For a limited time, they are offered at the same price as traditional lined Bifocals.

Book your appointment now https://www.torgaoptical.co.za/book it's quick and easy! Enjoy!

It's Torga's Anti-Fog Solution - 0 Comments
It's Torga's Anti-Fog Solution

How to stop your glasses from fogging up when you wear a mask

Most common challenges with wearing glasses are easily addressed by your optometrist. For example, glare from the sun in your eyes while driving can be reduced with polarised lenses, frames slipping down the bridge of your nose can be prevented with professional adjustments.

But for many spectacles, wearers getting fogged up lenses while wearing a face mask is a new challenge.

Why do your lenses fog up while wearing a face mask?

Your spectacles and sunglasses fog up when you are wearing a face mask because the mask redirects your warm breath upward instead of forward, which condenses and forms micro-droplets on the lenses.

Generally, the problem can be reduced by increasing the tightness of the fit of your face mask. For example, homemade masks can also be modified to fit better by sewing twist ties into the top so they can be moulded over the nose. Or you can simply make sure that the elasticated strap is as tight as possible (Never adjust the mask so that its main purpose is defeated). Tightly fitted masks can lead to a problem itself if the mask then becomes uncomfortable around the face, leading to a need for constant adjustment.

Torga Optical’s solution to prevent your spectacles fogging up

Torga Optical has high-tech Anti-Fog Micro-fiber cleaning cloths available in our practices nationally.  The Anti-Fog cloths contain a special solution that when applied to your lenses immediately reduces the condensation retention of the lenses. So any condensation from your breath on the lenses quickly dissipates in a matter of seconds.

With our Anti-Fog Lens Cleaning Cloth, there is no need for additional lens spray or other cleaning compounds.

Our anti-fog lens cleaning cloths are also gentle on your lenses, ensuring streak-free and scratch-free results.

How long does the Torga Optical Anti-Fog Cleaning Cloth last for?

The cloth can be used to clean your spectacles up to 200 times. Make sure you store the cloth in the provided zip-lock bag after use as the Anti-Fog solution will dry evaporate from the cloth if not so protected. Also, do not wash the cloth as this will remove the solution.

What if I need a solution that both clean my glasses and provides Anti-Fog protection?

Torga Optical also offers a special Anti-Fog and Cleaning Spray. This spray works like a normal spectacle cleaning spray but it adds an additional hydrophobic layer to your lenses providing Anti-Fog protection. You will also need a regular microfibre cleaning cloth to apply the spray across the surface of the lens.

Remember also when using a cleaning cloth that you wipe your lenses from left to right, horizontally across the lens, rather than in a circular polishing motion. This avoids dirt accumulating in the centre of your lenses.

What’s the best solution? Torga Optical’s Anti-Fog cloth or Torga Optical’s Anti-Fog Spray?

Both products work really well. However, we find that the Anti-Fog cloth provides the greatest convenience as you only need to carry one item with you during the day and no spray is required.

Get yours HERE

How to use the Anti-Fog Cleaning Cloth

  1. Remove the Anti-Fog cleaning cloth from its pouch
  2. Gently wipe both sides of each lens in your spectacles to apply the Anti-Fog solution. Hold your glasses up to a gentle light source to inspect your handiwork, and re-apply if necessary.
  3. Replace the Anti-Fog cleaning cloth in its pouch (it will last up to 200 cleans if stored properly). Enjoy your fog-free lenses for the whole day. Reapply as necessary.

 

How to use the Anti-Fog Spray

  1. Clean the lens with our Anti-Fog lens cleaning solution. Apply the spray to the microfibre cloth, not to the lenses themselves. The spray and cloth method is there to keep your glasses clean and assist with fogging to stop.
  2. Dry the lens with an ordinary microfiber cloth.
  3. Polish the lens with anti-fog cleaning cloth.
Need to make adjustments to your frames? - 0 Comments
Need to make adjustments to your frames?

After prolonged use, eyeglass frames may slide out of place, pinch your nose, hurt your ears or simply appear crooked. You can take your eyeglasses to an optometrist for an adjustment, but if you are unable to visit a store you can easily adjust eyeglasses yourself by following the steps in this article.
Stand in front of a mirror and look straight ahead.

Position the glasses so the middle of the lenses is located in the centre of your eyes. This is the optical centre and the ideal location for your glasses. All adjustments to your glasses should be made to achieve this optimal position.
  • If you have a bifocal lens, the line should sit at the lower eyelid. If you have a multifocal lens, the top line should sit at the bottom of the pupil.

Look for issues with the temple arms.

If your glasses look crooked or tilted heavily to one side, it is likely the result of crooked temple arms. One way to test the temple arms is to lay your eyeglasses upside down on a flat surface. Both of the temple arms should rest evenly on the flat surface. If they do not, you will need to adjust them.
  • If your eyeglasses appear level on your face but sit crooked when resting on a flat surface, this may mean that one of your ears is higher than the other. The temple arms should be bent to accommodate any differences in ear height.
Level the temple arms. The temple arms extend over and around the ears and hold the frame in place. After determining what adjustments need to be made, you will need to consider the style of glasses you wear, as correcting the problem differs from plastic to wireframes.
  • For wireframes, gently bend the arms with small pliers until they are straight. Put the glasses on and observe in the mirror to see if they are correct. Do not use wire cutters. You must use padded pliers or the frames will likely be damaged.
  • For plastic frames, the plastic on the lower arm must be heated by a warm air source, such as a hairdryer, to make the plastic pliable. Slowly move the plastic upward with your hands until it is in the desired position. Be careful using the hairdryer as you could melt the plastic.
  • Another way to bend plastic frames is to run them under hot water for 15 to 25 seconds before trying to make adjustments. The arm should become pliable enough to adjust, but be careful. The plastic can snap even when heated.
Adjust the earpieces. Check the curvature of the earpieces. If the eyeglasses are pinching or digging into your ears or the side of your head, bend the earpiece section of the arms outward. If the glasses are too loose and the glasses are slipping down off your nose, twist the earpieces inwards towards the head. Again, how you achieve this depends on the type of frame you have.
  • For wireframes, this adjustment can be made with pliers or even your bare hands.
  • For plastic frames, you will need to make the plastic pliable using either heated water or air, before bending the earpiece section of the frames.

Nosepiece problems.

Look for the height at which your eyeglasses rest when on your face. If the lenses rest too high up or too low down, it is likely a problem with the nosepiece and you will need to adjust this part of your glasses.
Fix the nose pads for comfort. If the eyeglasses sit too high on your face, the nose pads need to be moved further apart. If the eyeglasses sit too low, then pinch the nose pads closer together. Try to make sure you bend each of the nose pieces together or apart at equal distances to keep the symmetry of your glasses.

Check for squeezing or slipping.

Your glasses may sit centred on your face and at the correct height, but still, feel a little bit lose or a little bit tight. You can adjust the tightness/looseness of your glasses by bowing the earpieces outwards or inwards, depending on your needs. The ideal place to make this adjustment is right at the hinge. Bowing the earpieces of the glasses outwards will relieve any unnecessary pressure to the sides of your head or temples while bowing earpieces inwards will help them fit more snugly to the side of your head.

You may find that, despite everything else looking well-fitted, your glasses are still sliding down your face. If this is the case, you can simply make adjustments to the screws that attach the arms to the lenses of the glasses.
Tighten the screws on each side of the temple. Doing this will fix glasses that are sliding down your nose and will keep the lenses secure within the frames. This fix will require a very small screwdriver. These small screwdrivers are usually found in standard eyeglass cleaning and repair kits.
  • Take care not to over-tighten the screws, or you risk damaging the plastic or metal that they are holding in place.

Make minor adjustments. 

Never make huge, drastic adjustments to your glasses all at once. It can often be harder to bend eyeglasses back into a proper position after a repair than it is to make the original adjustment. Make minor adjustments, check the glasses, and continue making minor adjustments until they are corrected.

Lens Technology for Driving - 0 Comments
Lens Technology for Driving
Everyone wants the best technology with the best safety features for their vehicles. However, you may have the safest vehicle on the road, but if your eye sight is compromised so is your safety.
Lens Technology For Over 40s - 0 Comments
Lens Technology For Over 40s
In a world that is obsessed with eternal youth, efficiency and massive workloads, the inevitable deterioration of one’s eye sight at a certain age - *gulp* yes, forty – is a daunting prospect for many!
Blue Light Demystified: The Blue Light Fact Checker - 0 Comments
Blue Light Demystified: The Blue Light Fact Checker
There’s been much talk about blue light, what it is and what effect it may or may not have on your eyes. In search of the facts to demystify it, we have compiled a quick and easy Blue Light Fact Checker. These facts have been checked and rechecked by a number of health- and eye-care and practitioners, as well as optical experts.
Benefits of wearing contacts - 0 Comments
Benefits of wearing contacts

What are the benefits of wearing contact lenses?

  • Contact lenses offer freedom from wearing glasses – they look more natural and give you an unobstructed view.
  • Contact lenses are not affected by fogging especially in winter or when playing sports, or rain and are unlikely to get lost.
  • You can wear your choice of sunglasses with contact lenses.
  • Contact lenses can be removed at any time but surgery is generally irreversible and you may still need glasses after surgery.
  • Almost anyone can wear contact lenses whether you are long- or shortsighted or have astigmatism. You also get bifocal or multifocal contact lenses for people who need different lens powers for distance and close work.
  • Having spectacle frames slip down your nose or leave marks on your nose and your ears can be avoided. Perspiration makes it easier for frames to slip down your nose and this can also happen in hot, humid weather.
  • Spectacle frames can easily slip when you run or bend forward to pick something up.
  • Spectacle lenses can be very thick and make your eyes look larger or smaller than normal.
  • Spectacles reduce your field of view – with contact lenses you have a wider field of view which makes driving safer.
  • Contact Lenses move with your eyes so the best focus always stays in front of the eye – there are no restrictions caused by a frame.
  • You will be able to read without wearing spectacles.
  • Short-sighted people will have the advantage of better vision because images are larger with contact lenses.
  • Contact lenses are great for sailing or just being near the sea when sea spray can be a problem with spectacles.
  • Water skiing is much safer in contact lenses due to clearer splatter-free vision.
  • Scuba diving and snorkelling are much better with a face mask worn over contact lenses.
  • For contact sports, contact lenses are a better option as you get a better side vision with contact lenses.
  • Wearing ski goggles is much easier when wearing contact lenses.
  • In work situations requiring eye protection contact lenses are superior. They will fit more easily under protective goggles or welding masks.
  • Coloured contact lenses can provide the option of a desirable variation in eye colour.
  • Photographs of spectacle wearers can be a disaster with eyes hidden by reflections and/or shadows.
  • Wearing eye make-up looks better because the effects created by the make-up are not hidden by spectacle frames and lenses.
  • Photography and using binoculars are easier when viewing through the camera or binocular.
  • People who work in a hospital or scientific laboratory find it easier to use a microscope when wearing contact lenses.
  • It is easier to apply make-up when wearing contact lenses for long-sighted people.
  • From their head down position through sunglasses, cyclists riding racing bikes find contact lenses give them a clearer vision.
  • Irritation from smoke is reduced by soft contact lenses.
  • Contact lenses protect the eyes from stinging when cutting onions.
A Feast for your Eyes - 0 Comments
A Feast for your Eyes

Having healthy eyes is something that many take for granted. But when one doesn’t have it, one’s quality of life is severely compromised.

Just like diet can have a direct impact when it comes to reducing the risk of various diseases, so can diet reduce the risks of developing numerous eye maladies. Many scientific studies have proven that nutrition has a massive effect on vision issues and vision-related diseases including dry-eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.

So, in the interests of maintaining good eye health, we’ve made it easy for you by listing the five best food groups that, if consumed healthily, will help to preserve your vision.

  1. Antioxidants, antioxidants, antioxidants!

Yes, this has been a buzz word for what seems like forever – but, for good reason.

Vitamin C

Found in many easily accessible fruits (think citrus and berries) and vegetables, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that shows to significantly lower the risk of developing cataracts. Combine vitamin C with other essential nutrients, it has been scientifically shown to also slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and the loss of visual acuity.

Vitamin E

Nuts, sweet potatoes and fortified cereals are an excellent source of another powerful antioxidant: vitamin E. Research indicates it protects cells in the eyes from unstable molecules called free radicals, which break down healthy tissue.

  1.    Nutrients: Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are important nutrients found in green leafy vegetables (such as kale and spinach) and yellow vegetables, as well as in the yolks of eggs. Many studies show that lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.

  1.    Vitamin D

Do you suffer from dry eye syndrome? Pretty much anyone who uses a digital device will probably experience dry eyes from time to time. Dry eyes are a common symptom of digital eye strain, which has become so commonplace that it's even been given its medical term: Computer Vision Syndrome. When one is reading off of a screen, the eyes have to constantly refocus and reposition to the process content. As a result, one doesn't blink as often. Blinking moisturises the front of the eye. The average person blinks around 16 times per minute. This is halved when using a digital device.

Diet can help to add extra moisture to the eyes to alleviate this modern-day malaise. Just add the following to your diet: fatty fish (like tuna, mackerel, and salmon); foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals, as well as liver, cheese and egg yolks. And of course, drink lots and lots of water!

  1. Essential Fatty Acids

Fats are a necessary part of the human diet. They maintain the integrity of the nervous system, fuel cells and boost the immune system. Research shows Omega-3 fatty acids are important for proper visual development and retinal function. Fatty acids also work very effectively to alleviate dry eyes. Nuts, seeds, soy products, beans, whole grains, and leafy vegetables all contain varying amounts of essential fatty acids.

  1.     Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace mineral or "helper molecule." It plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, which is the protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid (the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina). So, start adding grass-fed beef and lamb to your diet; oysters are also a good source of zinc; more nuts and luckily lots dark chocolate.

 

There's no substitute for the quality of life that good vision provides! By just adding a few of the above-mentioned ingredients to your daily diet you can improve your eye health.

Speak to one of the professional Torga optometrists for more insights into the health of your eyes. 

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Caring for Your Glasses - 0 Comments
Caring for Your Glasses

Keep Your Glasses in Spectacular Condition

Spots, smudges, streaks and scratches! These are just some of the daily irritants for the average spectacle-wearer.

It’s tempting to reach for your shirt and wipe! But, if you want your lenses to last as long as they should, we urge you to resist. It's important to know how to clean your glasses the correct way. We’ve put together a list of what-not-to-do and our recommendations to keep your specs in sparkling condition.

What NOT to do when cleaning your glasses:

  1. The number one thing not to do when cleaning lenses is to wipe them with tissues, paper towels, napkins, or any other paper product. No matter how soft these materials might seem, they are made of wood pulp that can easily scratch your lenses.
  2. Avoid wiping your glasses with your clothing. Your clothes accumulate dust and dirt throughout the day. These particles can cause scratches even if the fabric doesn’t.
  3. Don’t put your glasses down uncovered or unprotected, and especially don’t drop them into your handbag or pocket. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to scratching. Furthermore, you can smudge the lenses if you retrieve them by the lenses instead of the frame.
  4. Don’t use just any kind of cleaning chemical. Chemicals like ammonia and window cleaner can damage or even remove the protective coatings on the lenses.
  5. Don’t leave the lenses in areas where there might be splatters and sprays, like the in the kitchen or bathroom. Hair spray and perfume can also cause damage to the coatings on your lenses.

How to keep your Specs Sparkling:

  1. When you’re not wearing your glasses, always store your glasses in a protective case. This will help to reduce dust particles settling on the lenses. If you don’t have a case, make sure to at least store them with the lenses facing upwards to avoid scratching the lenses.
  2. If you do not have access to a good lens cleaner, use warm soapy water to gently lather the lenses, frames, and nose pads. Then dry them gently with a clean and dry cotton cloth, or preferably a clean optical microfiber cloth.
  3. For every day, we recommend that you can get a special lens-cleaning solution and keep a dedicated microfibre cloth with it. Alternatively, you can make your cleaner by filling a small spritzer bottle with water and adding one drop of dish-washing soap. Shake-spray-rise and dry with a clean microfibre cloth.
  4. If your lenses do get scratched, bring your glasses into your nearest Torga Optical and we will see if we can fix them, instead of you trying to buff out the scratches yourself, which could do more damage.
  5. All Torga Optical stores offer a complimentary spectacle cleaning and adjustment service. Pop into your nearest Torga Optical so that you always have a sparkle in your spectacles!