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Seems everyone is getting very excited for the coming complete solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st at 1:47 PM. The Denver area is 152 miles from seeing the total eclipse, so you better plan on a crowded trip up I-25 to Casper, Wyoming if you want to see the sun totally blocked out. The Denver area will be just over 92% blocked out at the height of the eclipse. Colorado Springs will be just under 89% eclipsed. Do you want to see the eclipse?

DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN…. even during an eclipse!

Here are a few tips we gathered from NASA as to how to look at an eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all of North America. The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds, turning day into night and making visible the otherwise hidden solar corona — the sun’s outer atmosphere — one of nature’s most awesome sights. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well.

 

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. To date five manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.
  • If you are within the path of totality (https://go.nasa.gov/2pC0lhe), remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.

Want to see what the eclipse will look like from your zip code? Click this great link from Vox.

As we approach Shark Week next week, did you know that shark corneas are very similar to the ones we humans have? As such, shark corneas have been used as replacements in human eye surgeries. Want to see Shark Week in all its gory glory? Check out some new lenses at Europtics today.

Shark Week at Europtics

Now that Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, we are all excited about jumping back into the swimming pool. Most all of us will remember to bring the sunscreen, which is a good thing, but what are you doing to protect your eyes at the pool?

Did you know UV radiation increases as much as 25% when you are in or near the water? That is why we sunburn so easily poolside. That same UV radiation can be damaging to your eyesight as well, increasing your chances of acquiring cataracts, macular degeneration, or even skin cancer around the eyelids. That is why we carry a wonderful array of sunglasses that filter out those damaging UV rays. We have a complete line of sunglasses in both Rx and non-Rx to choose from.

The sun isn’t the only thing your eyes need to worry about at the pool, however. Pool chemicals can do a number on your eyes. The tear film that coats your eyes is one of nature’s magical wonders in that it’s the water, protein, and lipid combine to protect your eyes and keep them from drying out too quickly. Chlorine and saline, however, wreak havoc on your tear film, leading to redness and itching. These chemicals can also lead to Dry Eye Syndrome. If you wear contact lenses swimming, you are providing a surface for bacterial growth that can lead to complications such as corneal ulcers and in rare cases, vision loss.

This swim season we want to recommend you bring 3 things with you to the pool and 4 things back. The first is a good sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. The second is a good pair of sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays too. The third thing is a pair of swim goggles available at any sports or convenience store. That 4th thing to bring home is a wonderful smile of a fun, safe, and memorable day in the water.

the finest eye exams in Colorado are at EuropticsIn 2003, the National Eye Institute established May as Healthy Vision Month. During this annual observance, Americans are encouraged to make their eye health a priority and learn how to keep their eyes healthy and safe. Why is Healthy Vision Month important? Healthy Vision Month is important because more than 23 million Americans age 18 and older have never had an eye exam, according to a national survey conducted by National Eye Institute. The reason: Most say they don’t think they have an eye problem. In fact: Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms in their early stages, so without an eye exam, they can’t know. And there are worrying predictions: By 2030, 11.4 million people will have diabetic retinopathy, 4.2 million will have glaucoma, and 3.7 million will have age-related macular degeneration. Healthy Vision Month encourages people to take steps to protect their sight. So during May (and quite frankly every month of the year), we encourage you to follow these five simple suggestions:

  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy weight and eat foods like fish and dark leafy green vegetables to lower your risk of eye disease. And don’t smoke—it’s as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body.
  • Know Your Family History: Genetics are a factor in eye disease, including diseases that are the leading causes of blindness. Talk to your family members about their eye health history.
  • Use Protective Eyewear: Safety glasses or goggles can protect your eyes at work and at play. Talk to us about the right protective eyewear for your sport or job.
  • Wear Sunglasses: Protect your eyes by choosing sunglasses that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Get a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam: It’s the best way to know if your eyes are healthy and you’re seeing your best. Schedule an exam with one of our doctors today!

Having a regular comprehensive eye exam can do more than just test your vision. Yes, getting the right prescription can help you see better no matter the distance, no matter the time of day. However, did you know that there are many health problems than can be detected by an eye exam much sooner than most medical exams? Our friends at All About Vision have created this infographic sharing just some of the health problems that can be detected with a thorough eye exam. Ready to schedule your eye exam? Click here and let us help.

We know there are plenty of places like grocery stores and big box merchants who sell reading glasses. We also know the difference between buying a quality product and the cheapest thing import available. We believe that your two eyes are pretty precious to you and that you want to care for them and make sure this most valuable of the senses lasts a lifetime. That is one of the reasons we don’t carry nor recommend cheap reading glasses. Sam Kotob has been in the optical business much longer than he would like us to say here. He knows the difference a quality product makes though, which is why he developed the eyeOs premium line of reading glasses. Europtics is proud to carry these great and good looking readers in all our locations. Here is a short video of Sam sharing the new models with Kelly, our store manager in Colorado Springs.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States. People are often unaware that glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages. If detected early, before noticeable vision loss occurs, glaucoma can usually be controlled and severe vision loss can often be prevented. The vision lost from glaucoma cannot be restored.

Anyone can get glaucoma, but those at higher risk include:

  • African Americans over age 40
  • Everyone over age 60, especially Hispanics/Latinos
  • People with a family history of the disease

The Optometrists inside Europtics encourage annual eye exams which can detect early signs of glaucoma as well as diabetes and a number of other health conditions.  Click here to schedule an exam at the Europtics location most convenient to you.

 

Thank you to the NIH for the video

Maui Jim Optical CollectionEuroptics has been chosen as one of 35 optical shops worldwide to showcase the new Maui Jim Optical Collection. Over the years, Maui Jim has become synonymous for comfort and cutting-edge protection from the sun with some of the finest sunglasses made anywhere.

Now Maui Jim has taken those years of expertise and created a new collection of prescription eyeglass frames that are structurally designed to balance aesthetics, fit and integrity in a broad assortment of styles and materials. See them in Denver exclusively at Europtics Cherry Creek North.

Most of us just don’t function well without our morning coffee. It turns out, we might be helping our eyesight with our morning joe. A new study from Cornell University found that coffee may indeed have a positive effect on our eye health. The research found the chlorogenic acid, or CLA, may protect against deteriorating eyesight and possible retinal degeneration. So, drink up and don’t forget to schedule your next eye exam soon.

is coffee good for the eyes? Ask us at Europtics

eat right and get your eyes examined regularly at Europtics - Colorado

The pools may be closed for the year, but farm fresh fruits are still abundant in farmer’s markets and grocery shelves. One of our favorites is cantaloupe, and wouldn’t you know it, cantaloupe has so many wonderful properties to it, including for your eyes.

Cantaloupes have been the subject of many studies, some of which suggest consumption can actually decrease your risk of obesity while increasing energy levels. Cantaloupe consumption has been known to support heart health, decreasing blood pressure, reducing the risk of strokes, and protecting the body from loss of muscle mass. It can even help reduce the formation of kidney stones.

Being in the optical business, we are most excited by the reports that eating cantaloupe can decrease our risk and the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Cantaloupes contain the anti-oxidant, zeaxanthin, which has been found to naturally filter out harmful blue light rays, protecting our eyes.

So, head on down to your favorite grocer and pick up some farm-fresh local cantaloupe today. Your taste buds, your body, and your eyes will thank you!