• Trifocals…Really?

    All of us have heard about bifocals and their segmented design: a lens split cleanly with a definitive line marking the different prescriptions for farsightedness and close reading. While they get a bad rap, bifocals can be genuinely helpful for most people who need them, and they can be a great solution to those with presbyopia. But what if they just don’t cut it? The problem with bifocals is that they only target two vision areas, near and far, and can leave some things in the middle blurry. Spindel Eye Associates wants to tell you about a great solution: trifocals.

    Trifocals vs. bifocals

    Bifocals are some of the most common prescription glasses sold around the world. They help correct presbyopia, a condition generally brought on by natural aging, where you begin to lose your ability to clearly see things that are close. They come in different styles and lens designs, where the prescriptions take up different areas of the lens. For instance, executive bifocals—or the Franklin bifocal, as they’re sometimes called—split the two prescriptions in a straight line all the way across, not quite halfway up the lens. However, the biggest issue with bifocals is that they can leave things in between the near and far prescriptions blurry and unfocused.

    With trifocals, the lenses in your glasses have three prescriptions: near, far, and intermediate. The intermediate prescription can be placed in a few different places on your lens to accommodate your vision needs and preferences, and it allows you to see more comfortably in a way that’s more similar to your natural eyesight before the presbyopia set in.

    While bifocals limit your view of the world into two distances and a blurred middle, trifocals allow you a full range of sight at all distances. They give you a sight that is more natural than bifocals do because they allow for a broader range of depth and clarity, while maintaining your peripheral vision.

    Trifocal designs

    In every pair of trifocals, the intermediate segment is situated directly above the near power segment. The intermediate segment uses about half of the magnifying power of the near segment, allowing you to see things a bit further away that would still be blurred by the distant segment. Trifocal lenses come in two different layouts, giving you the freedom to choose which one gives you the optimum visual results you need. The flat-top trifocal lens is perhaps the most popular, and it fits the near and intermediate segments into a neat D-shape. This allows for good peripheral vision as it doesn’t span across the whole of the lens, and it’s an easy design to get used to. The executive trifocal lens is similar to the executive bifocals in that the prescriptions span all the way across the lens. The intermediate segment is thinner than the other segments on this design, but it allows a broader range of corrected vision.

    Using our knowledge and experience, Spindel Eye Associates can help you choose a design that works best for you.

    See more with trifocals from Spindel Eye Associates.

  • When Should My Child Get Her First Eye Exam?

    As a parent, you want the very best for your children, but more than anything, you want them to be healthy and happy. To this end, you take your baby for regular pediatric check-ups, dental exams, and even specialists, if they’re recommended. But what about her eyes? We know that eye health is important, but sometimes it takes a backseat to the rest of the medical issues you worry about with a new baby.

    Spindel Eye Associates has been treating and examining children’s eyes for years. To bring this expertise to you, we’ve gathered some important information on how often and when your child should get eye exams.

    If your child is at risk

    Several factors can put your child at higher risk for developing visual issues. It’s important that you be aware of these factors and mention them whenever you take your child to her eye exams. These risk factors include:

    • Premature birth
    • Low weight at time of birth
    • Intraventricular hemorrhage of a grade III or IV
    • If the mother had an infection while pregnant
    • Difficult labor or assisted labor
    • Family history of certain eye diseases and conditions
    • Central nervous system dysfunction, either known or suspected

    If your child has any of these risk factors, the first eye exam should happen before the age of six months and then as frequently as recommended, depending upon your child’s risks and what your child’s eye doctor suggests.

    If your child is not at risk

    If your child doesn’t have any of these risk factors, he or she should get the first eye exam around 6 months old, followed by an exam at the age of 3. Kids should have another eye exam before they begin kindergarten and then every two years or so after that if they have no corrective needs and continue to be free of symptoms of eye issues. If your child’s doctor suggests more frequent eye exams, follow his or her recommendation. Some key symptoms of developing eye problems include:

    • Delayed motor development
    • Rubbing eyes more often than normal
    • Inability to maintain eye contact or hold a gaze while looking at an object
    • Blinking more often than they should
    • Redness or irritation that persists for more than a few hours
    • Complaints of pain in or around the eyes
    • Poor hand-eye coordination for their particular stage of development
    • Inability to track a moving object with their eyes

    Early detection is key

    As with most health issues for adults and children, early detection of a problem can be key in the treatment and prognosis. If you notice your child having symptoms, or if you know that your child is at high risk for eye diseases and conditions, make sure you take him or her to the eye doctor as recommended, so that professionals like Spindel Eye Associates can ensure your child’s eyes are healthy.

    Test your baby’s eyes at Spindel Eye Associates.

  • The Pros and Cons of Transition Lenses

    Transition lenses, or photochromic lenses, are the lenses that darken in the sunlight and lighten in softer light or the dark. These lenses have been around for a decade or more, and they offer the convenience of sunglasses without having to wear them over your prescription glasses or having to constantly switch between the two. But is it really as good as it sounds? Is it worth it?

    Spindel Eye Associates knows that these are pressing questions for you, so we’ve compiled a little information to help you make a well-informed decision.

    The pros

    The benefits of having transitional lenses can seem obvious, but not all of them are apparent. Here are some of the biggest pros to getting a pair of transitional lenses:

    • Cost effective – Photochromic or transitional lenses can actually be quite cost effective. With transitional lenses, you end up not having to buy two pairs of glasses: prescription sunglasses and normal glasses. You get the best of both, rolled into one simple solution.
    • Convenient – Transitional lenses are very convenient because they save you from having to carry around two pairs of glasses and having to switch between them to meet different needs. With transitional lenses, you can wear sunglasses while driving and still be able to read important street signs.
    • Limits risk of losing glasses – Carrying around two pairs of glasses means that you’re much more likely to lose or misplace one of them. Having only one pair makes it easier on you.
    • Protects your eyes – Transitional lenses do more than function as sunglasses. They actually filter out a good deal of the harmful UV rays emitted from the sun, leading to healthier and happier eyes.
    • Different styles – Transitional lenses come in a myriad of styles, shades, and tints suitable for anyone’s tastes, so it won’t limit your fashion sense: It will encourage it.

    The cons

    So does the bad outweigh the good? We’re here to help you find out. These are some of the drawbacks of photochromic lenses:

    • Ineffective in cars – Photochromic lenses darken in reaction to UV rays, which your windshield blocks. Because of this, transitional lenses won’t darken very well in the car.
    • Differences in brands – Another issue that can arise with photochromic lenses is that different brands have different levels of darkness and different reaction times. Speaking with your eye doctor about this can help you find the brand that works best for you.
    • Affected by cold weather – Transitional lenses are also affected by colder weather, meaning they take a bit longer to react to UV rays in winter.
    • Might not be polarized – Most transitional lenses aren’t polarized, which could result in harsh glares. Check with your eye doctor to see what option is best for you.

    How to decide

    Consulting with your eye care professional about transitional lenses is the best way to decide what will work for you. Finding your optimum eye care choice may involve a lot of details and discussion, but it will lead to you being happier with the outcome. Spindel Eye Associates knows from years of experience that getting to know your needs and visual goals is an essential step to great results.

    Test transitional lenses at Spindel Eye Associates.

  • Am I Too Old for LASIK?

    If you’re tired of the hassle of glasses or contact lenses, you’re not alone. Are you considering LASIK corrective surgery? Are you healthy and want to be able to do the things you enjoy—such as golf, fishing, gardening, horseback riding, or painting—without worrying about losing your glasses or your contacts slipping on your eye? If you’re over 60, you’re probably worrying that your age will interfere with your plans to get LASIK. Spindel Eye Associates has treated many seniors with LASIK surgery, and we have important information to help you decide if you’re a good candidate.

    It’s not your age, it’s your health

    When eye doctors consider older patients for LASIK surgery, age is taken into consideration, but the final decision largely depends upon a number of other factors, such as your current health and likelihood of developing cataracts. The important factors include:

    • Your current health – Your current health can have a big impact on how risky and effective the LASIK procedure will be for you. If you have diabetes or glaucoma, the risks might be more than the surgery is worth. Prime candidates will have no or few preexisting conditions, and their vision will have been stable for a year or two prior to the LASIK procedure.
    • Current medications – The medications that you’re currently taking also can play a big role in the risks of the surgery. If you aren’t currently taking anything, that’s fantastic, but certain medications can have symptoms or side effects that make surgery unnecessarily riskier or complicate the results. One medicine in particular that treats arrhythmia can have devastating consequences on your eyes, such as corneal ulceration, optic neuropathy, and corneal microdeposits, which can complicate the procedure as well as render it ineffective. It’s important to always disclose any medications that you are taking with your doctor, so he or she can help you make the right call.
    • Cataracts – The likelihood of your eyes forming cataracts increases with age, especially from age 60 and older. If you don’t have cataracts yet, your doctor will probably assess your likelihood of developing cataracts before making the decision because having LASIK surgery can complicate the lens transplant that corrects cataracts if they do develop in the future. Often, if you’re at high risk for cataracts, your doctor might suggest waiting, or if you already have cataracts developing, your doctor will probably suggest a cataract removal and then clear lens exchange as the modality of treatment, as this will heal the cataract, as well as help to restore your vision.

    Speak with your doctor

    All in all, your age will affect your candidacy for the procedure, but it will by no means exclude you from it. If you’re a relatively healthy person whose vision has stabilized, and you don’t have cataracts or other preexisting eye conditions or diseases, you will likely be a better candidate than a younger person who has diabetes, a poor diet, and is on medication that could affect the surgery. The bottom line is that you should discuss the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery with an eye care specialist, such as Spindel Eye Associates.

    Get your LASIK consultation at Spindel Eye Associates today.

  • All about Bifocal Contact Lenses

    Contact lenses have long been hailed as a more attractive, convenient, and carefree alternative to glasses. But what most people don’t realize is that you can now get contact lenses in bifocal forms that target presbyopia and refractive errors. With different materials and designs, finding the best bifocal contact lens fit is possible. Spindel Eye Associates are experts who offer prescription bifocal contact lenses. Below is some key information about bifocal contact lenses.

    Different designs

    There are two different categories of bifocal contact lenses, differentiated by how the lens is laid out: simultaneous vision designs and segmented designs. While both categories are beneficial and help correct your vision, you may find that one seems more comfortable and natural to you than the other. It’s not unusual for people to have their own preferences on which design works best for them.

    • Simultaneous vision designs – Simultaneous designs have specific regions of the lens designated for seeing near and far, and they come in two subsets: concentric lenses and aspherical lenses. Your eyes will adjust naturally and use whichever power it needs at a particular moment. Concentric lenses have distant viewing power in the very center of the lens, with alternating near and distant viewing powers in concentric rings from the center. Aspherical contact lenses also have distance sight in the center of the contact, but it gradually fades outward into other viewing powers.
    • Segmented designs – Segmented design takes the typical bifocal glasses approach and applies it to contact lenses. This means that the top and middle of the contact is usually for distant viewing powers, while the bottom portion of the lens works as a magnifying glass for near viewing. This design is also called alternating or translating design. Unlike simultaneous vision designs, these lenses are flat on the bottom, allowing your eye to move behind the lens to see through the prescription you need from moment to moment, whereas simultaneous vision designs allow the lens to move with your eye.

    Different materials

    Similar to the single-vision contact lenses everyone knows and loves, bifocal contact lenses come in several different materials, so you can choose the one that feels most natural on your eye. The materials for bifocal contact lenses are either soft or rigid gas permeable, though there are now hybrid lenses with a combination of both materials for comfort and practicality. Also available is a silicone hydrogel material, a fascinating breakthrough that has been lauded for its comfort and natural feel because it allows much more oxygen to reach the eye than other lens materials.

    Are they right for you?

    Successful bifocal contact lens wearers have been shown to be more open, agreeable, and conscientious, and bifocal lenses themselves offer the freedom, convenience, aesthetic appeal, and simplicity that single-vision lenses offer. The fitting process for bifocal contact lenses tends to take longer and can sometimes end up being more expensive than standard contacts. Because of this, finding the design that works best and feels the most natural can take a few fittings. While some lens materials may require you to trade a little visual capacity for comfort, such as the softer ones, it is often unnoticeable. And switching to hybrid or rigid gas permeable lenses typically resolves any complaints.

    Spindel Eye Associates recommends discussing the benefits of bifocal contact lenses with your eye doctor, who can help you make the best decision for you. If you have any questions about bifocal contact lenses, don’t hesitate to give Spindel Eye Associates a call. We’d be happy to answer any questions or concerns.

    Try bifocal contacts at Spindel Eye Associates today.

  • Top 5 Foods for Optimum Eye Health

    What you eat plays a major role in your eye health. Over time, it can actually stave off certain diseases and conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and declining vision due to macular degeneration. Your body thrives from a well-balanced and healthy diet containing a blend of foods that you need. But your eyes especially benefit from antioxidants found in healthier foods, such as fish, certain vegetables, and some fruits. Spindel Eye Associates wants everyone to have the best vision possible, so we’ve compiled this list of the top five foods that promote healthy eyes.

    The list

    • Fish – Fish, especially cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, are excellent foods to include in your diet due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are the best food source for these omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to the prevention of dry eyes and cataracts, while also promoting healthy visual development.
    • Citrus fruits and berries – Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries—some of these favorite fruits can be the key to healthy eyes. They contain essential vitamins and minerals to promote healthy vision, mainly vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the development and health of vascular structures in your eyes, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.
    • Leafy greens – Kale, spinach, collard greens, and even green veggies, such as broccoli and peas, contain the all-star duo of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two important elements work together to promote overall eye health, including reducing macular degeneration.
    • Red, orange, and yellow veggies – These contain vitamins A and C, as well as carotenoids, carrots and other red, yellow, and orange vegetables, such as peppers, which are important to the eyes. Vitamins A and C are proven to help overall eye health, while preventing night blindness and cataracts. Carotenoids are thought to actually reduce the risk of developing other serious eye diseases and conditions.
    • Eggs – Eggs are packed with protein and nutrients, including the ever-important vitamin A and lutein. They reduce the risk of night blindness and macular degeneration, helping to preserve your vision and eye health.

    Eating healthy

    The key takeaway is that a healthy, balanced diet, including foods such as these, is essential to preserving your sight and health. Citrus fruits and fresh berries are high in antioxidants that your eyes need, and broccoli, peas, peppers, whole grains, lean beef, and even dairy products have all been shown to be beneficial for your eyes. Dairy is good because it contains zinc, which helps with night vision and cataract prevention, and certain nuts, seeds, and legumes harbor vitamin E, which also helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

    The true key to great eye health is to eat a healthy diet and take care of your body, along with scheduling regular eye exams and taking care of any eye issues as soon as symptoms arise. Vitamin supplements can be used to help an irregular or unbalanced diet, but you might be missing out on other key nutrients that healthy foods provide. Spindel Eye Associates in New Hampshire knows how important your sight is to you, and we can help you achieve great vision.

    See if your eyes are healthy at Spindel Eye Associates.

  • The Importance of Protecting Your Eyes

    By now you’ve probably heard people telling you to wear sunscreen so many times that you’ve become annoyed by it. You know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but did you know that it’s just as important to protect your eyes? Protecting your eyes from the sun is actually pretty easy to do, but many people simply don’t think about it or realize just how important it really is.

    The first step in protecting your eyes is to understand what you’re protecting them from. The two types of UV rays from the sun are UV-A and UV-B. Both of them can cause numerous eye problems. UV-A can damage your central vision and the macula which is part of your retina at the back of your eye. UV-B rays are mostly absorbed by your cornea and lens, but the rays that get through can cause extensive damage over time.

    The sun’s UV rays can cause several eye problems including:

    • Cataracts – The clouding of your eye’s natural lens that focuses the light you see.
    • Pterygium – A growth on the white of the eye and possibly the cornea that can block vision.
    • Skin Cancer – Skin cancer that develops around your eyelids is considered an eye problem.
    • Corneal Sunburn – Also known as photokeratitis, this can cause temporary vision loss and be very painful.
    • Macular Degeneration – UV rays can cause macular degeneration which is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults.

    So what can you do to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays? The most effective option is wearing sunglasses. Look for a pair that blocks out 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. If you already wear glasses, you can get prescription sunglasses which means you have no excuse to not protect your eyes. Wide-brimmed hats are also recommended when you’ll be out in the sun for any length of time.

    To learn more about prescription sunglasses, call Spindel Eye Associates at 603-421-6536.

  • Reducing the Strain On Your Eyes

    With so many Americans working in front of a computer screen, computer eye strain has become increasingly common. In fact, studies have shown that 50 to 90% of computer workers experience bothersome visual symptoms including eye strain. Those problems include fatigue, an increase in errors, decreased productivity, red eyes, and more. Read on to learn how to reduce the amount of strain on your eyes.

    • Eye Exam – The most important thing you can do is to have a routine comprehensive eye exam. It’s recommended that people who work on the computer should have an eye exam once a year. A change in your prescription could help relieve symptoms of eye strain.
    • Take Breaks – Follow the 20-20-20 rule of taking a 20 second break every 20 minutes. Focus on something 20 feet away to give your eyes a break. Get up and take a walk for a few minutes every hour or two so your eyes and the rest of your body can take a break.
    • Blink – Many people forget to blink when they use a computer. This can cause dry eye which can make your eyes red and irritated. Blink during those breaks and consider using eye drops.
    • Proper Lighting – Sunlight is best, but if you don’t have windows use incandescent lighting. If you can’t control the lighting at work, you can place a dim light on one side of your workstation.
    • Change Computer Settings – There are a few things you can tweak with your computer to make it easier on your eyes. Make sure your monitor is positioned correctly which should be 20 to 28 inches from your eyes and about four to five inches below eye level. You can also adjust the brightness level of your monitor and there are applications to reduce eyestrain.

    If you are experiencing eye strain, schedule an eye exam with Spindel Eye Associates today by calling 603-421-6536.

  • Is Cataract Surgery Right for Me?

    Cataracts are common among adults over 50. By the time you are in your late 70s, there’s almost a 50% chance you’ll have cataracts, and by the time you are 80 that number goes up to more than two thirds. A cataract causes vision loss that can’t be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. This clouding of the eye’s lens also can’t be corrected by refractive surgeries like LASIK.

    The good news is that cataract surgery can restore vision loss and even reduce dependence on wearing glasses or contacts. Modern cataract surgery is very safe and is one of the most effective surgical procedures performed. Each year more than three million cataract surgeries are performed in the U.S.

    During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens inside your eye is removed. It’s then replaced with an artificial lens which is called an intraocular lens (IOL) and clear vision is restored. Most of the time this is an outpatient procedure that does not require an overnight stay.

    If you are over the age of 50 and are experiencing cloudy vision, you may have a cataract. Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for an exam and to discuss your symptoms. Some cataracts don’t require surgery and may not affect your vision. You may be able to get by by wearing glasses, using brighter lighting, or using a magnifying glass.

    Even if you don’t need cataract surgery now, you may need it down the line if things get worse. Other symptoms of a cataract may include dim or yellow vision, double vision, light sensitivity, and poor night vision. Only your eye doctor can determine if cataract surgery is right for you, and scheduling an appointment is the first step. Contact Spindel Eye Associates at 603-421-6536 for more information.

  • Caring for Your Glasses: Keeping Them from Getting Scratched

    With all the methods and products available to clean your glasses, it can be difficult to know exactly what to use and how to clean them. You not only want your glasses to be clean so you can see out of them, you also want to keep them from getting scratched.

    The key when it comes to cleaning and caring for your glasses is to be as gentle as possible. Whether you prefer to wash them with soap and water, use a spray or cleanser, an individual wipe, or a microfiber cloth, each can be effective but could damage your glasses if you use them incorrectly.

    Washing Your Glasses

    • Be sure to wash and dry your hands before cleaning your eyeglasses so you don’t transfer any dirt or other substances onto them.
    • Rinse your glasses using a gentle stream of lukewarm water. This process removes dust and debris. Water that’s too hot can damage lens coatings.
    • Use just a small drop of dishwashing liquid on each lens. Be sure to use lotion-free soap.
    • Use your fingers to gently rub both sides of each lens. Don’t forget to rub the frame and other areas including where the frame meets the edge of the lenses.
    • Shake the glasses gently so most of the water falls off. If you don’t need to wear them right away, allow them to air dry.
    • Dry the lenses and frame carefully using a clean lint-free towel. Use a dedicated dish towel that hasn’t been laundered.

    Washing your glasses is the best method to clean them, but when you’re on the go you can also use a spray eyeglass cleaner, a pre-moistened disposable lens cleaning wipe, or a microfiber cleaning cloth. Be sure to store your eyeglasses in a protective case when you aren’t wearing them. For more information, contact Spindel Eye Associates at 603-421-6536.