For most of us, being able to see clearly is vital to what we do for both work and play. Certain things, such as using a computer for work or engaging in activities such as fishing, skiing or boating, can cause extra strain and hardship on our eyes as they try and adjust to things like intense light, glares and UV rays. Whether you need prescription glasses or just some high-tech shades to make your work or play more enjoyable, Innovations in EyeCare has your eyes covered.
In 2001, Innovations in EyeCare added a lens lab to their location so they could have lenses ready in under an hour for patients who need their prescriptions in a hurry. “It was a lot of fun but we were limited on what we could put on these lenses,” explains Dr. Joseph Dolezal. “We could add a scratch coat and variable tint to the lenses, but that was it. Back then, we thought that was pretty cool.”
Now Dolezal and his staff are even more excited about technological advances. The military developed a coating that could cut down the desert glare and was easy to clean. The traditional bluish coating on telescopes and binoculars required solvents and cleaners to remove the dirt. They just didn’t work. The military’s new version could be cleaned dry.
That technology is now available in the private industry and it’s changed everything. “You don’t see people advertising a lot of one-hour services anymore because you can’t make these coatings that fast,” Dr. Dolezal says, “but they are worth the wait.”
Innovations in EyeCare has four state-of-the-art coatings that can be layered together with or without a prescription. Understanding the differences and benefits of each can be confusing to the lens novice. To make it easier, here is a summary of everything you need to know:
Anti-Reflective (Glare) Reduction
These coatings are similar to those created by the military. While we don’t live in the desert, there are many advantages to this type of lens. “One of the most important things these coatings do is cut down on night glare, which is huge in the Pacific Northwest were we have all this weather,” Dr. Dolezal says. “They dramatically improve night sight, which makes driving safer.”
They also improve sight by reducing indoor glare. For example, when you’re trying to see your TV from across the room at night. This lens coating helps with glare in both dim and bright light.
When you get your eyes tested at Innovations in EyeCare, you will get to experience this for yourself. All of their vision testing equipment is glare coated.
Blue Light Reduction
If you stare at a screen of any type, chances are you’re getting too much blue light which can affect your sleep. These devices are set to mimic mid-day light. This affects the pineal gland in your brain which controls your sleep cycle. When you go to bed your brain thinks it’s still noon so you have trouble sleeping. “That’s why they say to put your devices down an hour before bedtime so you can wind down,” Dr. Dolezal says.
He admits he was skeptical about this coating when it first came out. “I thought it was just advertising and it’s not going to make much difference,” he says. “So I got two sets of glasses – one with and one without. I can’t wear the ones without now that I have worn the ones with. It just takes away the harshness of the light. It makes it a bit more yellow or pink and it’s so much more comfortable all day long.”
This coating protects the eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light. While your skin darkens to protect you from these rays, your eyes create cataracts. That’s one of the purposes of cataracts – to keep the sun from burning your retina. If you burn your retina, it creates wrinkles in your vision and straight lines become wavy.
Of course, no one wants cataracts even if they have a purpose, so adding a UV Absorbent coating to your lenses is a great way to protect your eyes and lower your risk. “And it’s not just the sun this coating cuts glare on,” Dr. Dolezal adds. “Everybody says they have a hard time seeing with harsh blue light, harsh florescent mercury lighting – this coating cuts those down too. Even those ultra-bright headlights.”
Innovations in EyeCare makes these in transition lenses, so they darken as they absorb more UV light.
This coating is especially remarkable. It cuts through reflections. For example, reflections on the water don’t usually allow you to see through. With this coating, however, you can see under the water. “These are amazing for active, outdoor people such as fisherman and skiers,” Dr. Dolezal says. “They also cut down reflection on the dashboard of your car. They even let you see through fog.”
All of these coatings have nothing to do with your prescription, but they do help you see better. Now you can have just one pair of glasses that works for any environment, instead of having to purchase more than one pair. This helps mitigate the cost and you won’t have to worry about misplacing your other pairs.
It is important to tell your eye doctor the kinds of activities you do and what environments you spend your time in. This way they can recommend the coatings that will be most beneficial to you. They can also make adjustments that will help accommodate your lifestyle. One of Dr. Dolezal’s patients got a pair of glasses with several different coatings. Then he went fishing, looked down into the water and his brand new glasses slipped off and were lost. “Had he told us what he was going to wear them for, we would have put a different temple on them and a nose pad so they would have stayed up,” Dr. Dolezal says. “We can make everything fit, but we need to know what your needs are.”
Above all, Dr. Dolezal says these coatings increase the quality of life of everyone, whether they have prescription lenses or not. This is what excites the team at Innovations in EyeCare. “We love helping our patients live better,” he says.
For more information about lenses or to schedule an appointment, visit the Innovations in EyeCare website or call 360-736-7385.