Turns out Anna Wintour and all the other celebrities we see sporting shades are just as smart as they are cool.
On a recent visit to Susan Resnick, O.D. FAAO, a NYC optometrist and expert on presbyopia and contact lens wear, among other specialties, I got an earful about caring for my eyes over 40.
Because this is the age when, whether we want to or not, we have to start listening to our eyes.
For people who've had vision issues all their lives, perhaps this is not such a big deal.* But as someone who reads and writes for a living, noticing that over-40 blurring was both shocking and upsetting. I was of the "not going to happen to me" denial mindset.
But really, we're all reading and writing all the time due to today's technology, so it's much more than an occupational hazard.
I admit I was scared to get an eye exam. I thought there might be something really wrong. But Dr. Resnick actually made it fun.
And I "passed". Yes, I need reading glasses, but she said my problem was I was wearing readers that weren't strong enough. Although making my eyes work harder is not such a bad thing, she said, I worry that it's giving me extra forehead wrinkles from squinting! So, readers for the house, the purse, the car — Rx for work and other times it really counts. She also recommended multifocal contact lenses such as Acuvue Oasys for presbyopia.
Here's 7 things you need to know:
- Wear sunglasses – it protects against cataracts!
- "UVA permeates deeper into the eye," (cataract formation); "UVB damages the white part of the eye and the cornea," says Dr. Resnick.
- "All sun damage is cumulative, lie your skin, so the sun damage you got as kid counts." That means in addition to sunglasses on you, get them on your kids and grandkids. Insist!
- WEAR a wide-brimmed HAT!
- "20% of light can still get in at the sides so wraparound glasses are best." For style mavens who protest, size matters. The bigger the better. And the closer the better, Dr. Resnick says. There are even UV-blocking contact lenses for more protection from stray light which gets under and around sunglasses.
- Surprise! Even cheapie sunglasses, by law have to have the minimum level — 98% absorption of UVA & UVB, Dr. Resnick says.
- More expensive sunglasses may offer more comfort for vision, she explains. "Poor lenses can't do any permanent damage, but once you get used to good sunglasses, it's hard to go back," she says. Like good chocolate.
Supermodel Emme says:
I take a supplement with 10mg FloraGLO Lutein every day. It's like an internal pair of sunglasses for my eyes and keeps my skin healthy."
Dr. Resnick agrees that supplements like lutein and zeaxanthin can be helpful. "At the very least they can't do any harm, but we do believe now that having an adequate amount can be protective for people who have a predisposition toward macular degeneration. "
Off-topic surprise info:
An alternative to surgical correctional vision and/or wearing contacts during the day? Dr. Resnick says you can get contact lenses that have corneal refractive therapy. What is that? Lenses that reshape the cornea while you sleep!
"We pride ourselves on being very cutting edge," she says of Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick and Associates, where she has been practicing for over 20 years. Which is why they also have the new Zeiss Individual — a special instrument to balance the approach to prescribing eyewear taking into account the way the frame sits on your face.
I love this idea because I think my nose is crooked .
So don some shades asap (and get an eye exam) – it's the smartest way to be cool.
More on reading glasses and eye care the cool way:
The shades for the intellectual thespian come from Takumi and Artifacts —Michelle Pfeiffer, Demi Moore, and Steven Spielberg are reported fans. The secret is magnetic technology, which allows them to slip sunlenses onto prescription frames. Some even fold up to fit into the tiniest purse or pocket. Who says magnetism only comes from within?
ICU has Eco readers &