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Category Archives: News

Look Great and See Clearly for the Holidays!

large_8301316618It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Whether we’re visiting family or our families are coming to visit us, inevitably someone is going to want to take our picture at some point. When asked, over 62% of our patients agreed that they would rather be wearing their contact lenses than their glasses in any and all holiday photos…and in photos in general.


As the end of the year approaches, folks with Health Savings Accounts and Flex Spending money are going to be looking for ways to use that money up before it expires on January 1st, 2015. Why not use it to get re-fitted for contacts and order up your full year’s supply? You’ll look your best in holiday photos, and your eyes—and your wallet—will thank you for it with no regrets about letting that HSA money go to waste this year. Plus, with a variety of available contact lens rebates to use after you have your exam, you can guarantee you’ll be getting the most out of your money as you start the new year with healthy eyes.

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Why Bono Sports His Shades


In Darian Lusk’s recent CBS News article, he discusses the medical reason Bono always wears sunglasses. In the article, Bono says he’s had glaucoma for over 20 years.

Glaucoma is usually symptomless, gradually stealing away peripheral vision without pain or light sensitivity.  That’s one reason it is a scary disease.  Bono likely suffers from a less common form of glaucoma like “narrow angle glaucoma” which can cause eye pain when exposed to changing light levels – for instance, going from a dark room to a brightly lit area.

In the vast majority of cases a thorough eye examination is the only way to detect glaucoma in its early stages.

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Is a School Vision Screening Just as Good as an Eye Exam?


While school screenings are reasonably effective at identifying weakness in distance vision, they routinely miss near vision problems, problems with coordinating eyes together and adjusting distance vision tasks and close work. And of course, school screenings are not designed to detect eye health or color vision problems.

All children should have a complete eye examination conducted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist before they begin first grade. If a problem is suspected or there is a strong history of amblyopia (“lazy eye”) in the family, they should be seen as soon as possible, no matter their age.

At the Eyecare Center of Leesburg, we love seeing children ages 2 and above but we are also happy to discuss your younger child’s eyes and refer to one of our colleagues who specializes in working with younger children if appropriate.

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Coffee vs. Carrots


Good news, coffee lovers!

A recent study at Cornell University indicates that a chemical found in coffee may help prevent retinal damage from eye diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.  Previous studies have also indicated that coffee my reduce risk of age related dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Further study is needed but in the meantime enjoy that “cup o’ joe” knowing it may be good for your eyes and brain!

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Community Health

What a weekend!

Dr. McGrew attended the Remote Area Medical Clinic in Grundy VA.  The clinic provides routine medical services, screenings, shots, vision and dental available to the local community.

Over 300 eye exams were given and yes, Dr. McGrew examined a majority of those!

Check out the pics!


Thinking of Ordering Glasses Online?

We previously offered online ordering of glasses, but after careful consideration have deactivated the service.

medium_2715599454We strongly feel the BEST way to choose frames and lenses are through face-to-face interaction with an optical professional.

While online ordering does offer the advantages of increased frame choices and the convenience of 24 hour access there is a downside.

A “virtual fitting” on your computer screen or trying on a few frames at home will not assure a proper fit.  Poorly fitted glasses will be uncomfortable and may compromise the optical quality of the prescription.

Additionally, choosing the right lens options and proper measurements are crucial to clear and comfortable vision.  This is especially true in higher prescriptions and with multifocal (bifocal) lenses.

Bottom Line:  Your vision – so critical for work or school performance, driving, and quality of life – is just too important for compromise.  Take advantage of our expertise and get a pair of glasses you’ll see great with and enjoy wearing!











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Halloween: Scary Eyes Can Be Scary Dangerous

The perfect Halloween costume could be complimented by some spooky tinted “theatrical” contact lenses.

But keep in mind that contact lenses are medical devices and have the potential to cause eye irritation, infection, and even loss of vision if used improperly.

Also, some costume-tinted contact lenses restrict peripheral vision or reduce the ability to see at night or in dim light.  In other words, it may not be safe to drive while wearing them!

We can order costume lenses for our patients with or without prescription.

Contact us with the form on the right or call for more information and, most importantly, BE SAFE this Halloween!


red lens purple lens

Spring Allergies Cause Problems for the Vision-Corrected

Spring can be a difficult time for the one in five individuals affected by seasonal eye allergies. For many vision-corrected individuals, eye allergy symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, often keep them from enjoying daily activities and impact their performance at work, at school and during sports.

There are a few things people can do to minimize the effect of allergies. First, find out what causes your allergy and try to avoid the trigger. If pollen bothers you, try to stay indoors during the peak allergy season and minimize the amount of time you are in the wind, which blows allergens around.

Be cautious with allergy pills that claim to ease allergy symptoms. Allergy medication can dry the eyes out. If you must take an allergy pill, try to take it at night so the drying effect is not as dramatic.

Use transient-preserved or preservative-free artificial tears. People who suffer from eye allergy symptoms may find that the preservatives in artificial tears cause discomfort.

Consider allergy drops, which are prescribed by a doctor. Drops can be put in each eye in the morning before inserting contact lenses, and again at night after their removal.

Computer Use May Pose Risks for Children’s Vision

Millions of children use the computer every day, either at home or at school. Unfortunately, too much computer use at a young age could cause eye problems that may carry on into adulthood. With computers becoming a part of children’s everyday life, it’s worth considering what effects computer use might have on your children’s eyes and their vision.

Children may experience many of the same problems related to computer use as adults. Extensive computer viewing can cause dry eyes, fatigue, blurred vision and headaches. Prolonged computer use in children can also cause premature nearsightedness (myopia) and focusing (accommodative) problems that could affect the child’s eyes as an adult. Performing near-tasks for long periods of time can lead to progressive myopia, a condition in which the nearsightedness is progressing quicker than expected.

It is important to have your child’s eyes examined before starting computer use and then annually to monitor for any of these changes. Every child should see their eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam at the start of every school year to make sure their eyes are ready for computer use at school and at home.

Tell your eye doctor if your child has shown any signs of computer vision problems such as squinting, eye rubbing, red eyes, near complaints, and even avoidance of the computer altogether. A comprehensive eye exam will help your child feel comfortable on the computer and confident in his or her schoolwork

Here are some tips for setting up a child-friendly computer station:

  • Use desk lights instead of ceiling lights to help prevent eyestrain
  • Position the computer to eliminate glare and reflections on the computer screen
  • Remind your child to blink frequently to keep the eye lubricated and prevent dry eye
  • Teach children to take frequent “eye breaks.” Have them take 20 minutes off for every hour of computer use to look in the distance and give the eyes a break from near work
  • During “eye breaks,” have the child stand and stretch out his or her body to relieve muscle strain

Protect Your Eyes From the sun’s harmful effects

Sunglasses are more than a fashion accessory. They are an essential tool to safeguard the health of your eyes and the surrounding tissue. Sunglasses should be worn year-round whenever you’re outdoors.

Just as the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin, they can also harm the lens and cornea of the eyes.

UV radiation increases your odds of getting cataracts, which cloud the eye’s lens and lead to diminished eyesight. It has also been linked to macular degeneration, a treatable, but incurable disease of the macula, a part of the retina that is essential for sharp vision.

Other UV-related eye problems are pterygium and pingueculum. A pterygium occurs when the conjunctiva, the tissue that lays over the white of the eye, grows into the cornea. A pingueculum is a yellowish bump of tissue on the white of the eye.

Sunlight that bounces off highly reflective surfaces such as snow, water, sand, or pavement can be especially dangerous.

Photokeratitis is a corneal sunburn that’s also known as snow blindness. As the name suggests, skiers and snowboarders are particularly vulnerable to this temporary but acutely painful condition.

The Importance of the Right Sunglasses

Protecting your eyes from the sun begins with picking the right pair of sunglasses. Things to consider include:

Ultraviolet Light Protection

Select sunglasses that provide full protection against ultraviolet light. Look for a label or a sticker that says one or more of the following:

  • Lenses block 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays
  • Lenses meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements. (This refers to standards set by the American National Standards Institute.)
  • UV 400 protection
Choose the Right Hue

The coating that blocks UV radiation is clear, so a darker lens isn’t necessarily more effective than a lighter one. But hue does play an important role in color perception. Yellow or rose tinted lenses can make it difficult to distinguish changes in traffic lights. Gray, green, and brown lenses minimize color distortion, and are a better choice when you’ll be behind the wheel.

Opt for Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses reduce glare by filtering out the reflected sunlight that bounces off surfaces like water or pavement. They’re a good option for boaters or water skiers, and they can cut down on glare from flat, smooth surfaces like road pavement or the hoods of cars.

The downside: It can be difficult to read your cell phone, GPS device, or a liquid-crystal display on a dashboard or ATM machine with polarized lenses.

Be aware that polarization has nothing to do with UV protection. So check the label to make sure the sunglasses provide full UV filtering.

Consider the Quality of the Lenses

Eye care experts agree that price isn’t a gauge of UV protection. But very inexpensive sunglasses are likely to contain lenses that are stamped out of a mold rather than ground and polished, and that can affect optical quality.

“Consistency is a concern with lower-priced glasses,” says Kehoe, a past president of the American Optometric Association. “You might find one pair that offers great clarity and another that’s the very same brand and model and highly distorted.”

To test optical quality, the FDA suggests focusing on a vertical edge or line. Move your head back and forth, allowing your eyes to sweep across the lens. “If there is any wiggle in the line,” the FDA guidelines say, “then the lenses may have an optical defect and you should choose another pair.”

Bigger is Better

Wraparound sunglasses offer the broadest protection against UV damage because they block more of the light that hits your eyes from the sides.

Sunglasses with large lenses and wide temples provide the next-best protection.

“Large lenses cover a wider area of skin so there’s a decreased window for UV penetration,” says Royal. “Sunglasses that come down to your cheekbones are a good choice.”

Think Jackie O’s iconic oversized glasses rather than John Lennon’s small, round shades.

Fit Matters

Sunglass frames should fit snugly on your nose and ears without pinching or rubbing. To prevent light from hitting your eyes from overhead, choose a pair that fits close to your face around the brow area, but not so close that your eyelashes are hitting the lenses, Royal says.

Whether you opt for high-priced designer sunglasses or a more affordable pair you find at your drugstore, you can easily find sunglasses that are flattering and functional. And protecting your eye health is one sunglass trend that will never go out of style.

Personalized Help

Whatever style you want, we will talk you through the options to make sure you get the right sunglasses for all your needs.